Life happens to all of us. We are called away, get busy and sooner or later wind up spent.
Earlier this month, I drove from my home in Grand Rapids, MI to Rochester, NY and back to MI. Then got up, flew down to Frisco, TX for a work conference and then flew back to MI. The next day I drove to NY and two days later drove back home – all in eight days.
This whirlwind did not make me excited or energized as you might think a trip or time away from the office might. I grew more and more exhausted as the days went on. I anticipated that I would have time to sit down and put words on the page. Instead I rushed from one thing to the next and tried to force some fiction only to delete most of it.
It was then I knew I arrived at a place we all come to now and again – the roadside of life. Okay, this might seem a bit melodramatic, but I am a writer after all. But we’ve all been there – the place where a basic task seems akin to moving a mountain. In the words of Jim Gaffigan, “I should probably get the mail. But then I’d have to put on pants.”
If you’ve been there or are there now you know there are two directions you can go. Further down the path of the exhaustive rut or with a little effort, we can start to turn things around.
But how do you turn things around if you are stuck in the same life sucking rhythm?
Well, let’s start with stating the obvious. The current rhythm does not work. That and we’ve either lost or forgotten our passion. I stopped traveling and instead of sleeping in and getting rest, I knew I needed to stick my heels in. So, I decided to get up between 5:15 or 5:30 a few mornings. I got up and stretched those writing muscles and worked on a couple of new short stories. I knew that if I started something short, something doable, I could use that momentum to face longer projects, like my novel.
How about you? Have your wheels fallen off? What project do you need to do but do not have the energy to get it done?