Saturday, November 13, 2010

Feed your writing soul

If you're like most writers, you have two lives.

Mild-mannered fusion physicist by day... sf writer by night!
Fun-loving graphic designer... and fantasy writer!
Nurturing mom... and sf/f writer!

If you're at all like this, you may find it difficult to balance these two sides. There are times when the demands of your "day job" (and yes, mother/homemaker counts) completely overwhelm you to the point that your creativity may feel blocked by sheer exhaustion. Sometimes you'll experience a period of high demand from your mild-mannered alter ego, and writing will get pushed to the side.

This happens to me a lot, and I find that after an extended period of this, I need to feed my writing soul. There are many ways that I do this. Sometimes all I can do is find a really good book to read, to help me feel inspired. Sometimes I call a writing friend and have a good chat about story ideas, story structure, rewriting, etc. When I can, I try to find a convention that I can attend, even if it's only for one day.

I occasionally do this crazy thing where I fly to a nearby convention, stay for a day, and then fly back without spending the night. Yes, I know it's nuts - but it's something I know I can do, and when the convention is close enough, it's worth the trouble. I save money by not staying in the hotel, and I get a few good hours of solid time where I can be a writer - shed the alter ego and be the superhero just for a little while. It tires me, yet energizes me at the same time.

I'm going to be flying down to Los Angeles for a day at LosCon on November 27th. Even just knowing the plan is in place has made me feel more energized to do my writing, and I know that being there will help me even more.

For all of you who may occasionally (or more than occasionally) feel trapped behind the mild-mannered alter ego, I encourage you to look around for things to feed your writing soul. Even the small things. Even the things that seem a little nuts. Keeping yourself inspired as a writer is really important to keeping that alter ego happy. Even though I do my mothering while I'm not writing, I know that I'm a better mother when I'm feeling strong and energized in my writing, because I feel like a whole and happy person. So making sure to care for your inner writer-superhero can make every part of your life better.