Smell the Roses
This post was written by Cheyenne, a student in the FLVS Creative Writing Club, for her peers with a passion for writing.
I can say, more often than not, that I prefer to schedule as much of my day as I possibly can.
There have been instances when I throw organization to the wind and let the day lead me as it pleases, without so much as a pause to think about how little I completed during my waking hours.
Eventually, it began to wear on me how much time I seem to waste, but how little time I have to be productive. I have become accustomed to writing down my itinerary – scheduling my day minute by minute – simply because I can no longer stand the thought of letting a minute go by, unnamed and unused, in my day without purpose.
I discovered quickly, though, how easy it is to make a schedule but fall out of pace with it. I cannot give inspiration a time slot; like the butterflies in spring or the cool breath of winter, inspiration will come and go as it pleases. It may not visit me at all on some days, and therefore, the time I reserved for writing goes unused.
You can make a hundred New Year’s resolutions to better yourself or your writing, but what is the point of making a list if you cannot follow it? For a scheduler like me, one tactic I try to follow to help make time to write is leave a window open in my day. I schedule nothing for an hour or two at times, but I do not necessarily write the whole time. Instead, I go for walks. I run. I read. I listen to music. I do different things that relax me and ease the stress from my body. Why? Because it is unbelievably hard to write when all you can think about is that test you have on Friday or what time you have to go to work on Saturday and so on.
You have to make time to not do anything at all but leisurely activities. It’s obvious that writing is something you enjoy, but if you have a difficult time finding your inspiration or staying still and writing more than one paragraph in an hour, you need to relax. Slow yourself down, and trust me when I say that it is absolutely okay to stop and observe the world around you. Take a moment to lean over and smell the roses. Enjoy their fragrance while you have the chance. This is what you should do every single day.
Many schedulers would find this advice counter-productive and meaningless. Making time to do nothing or almost nothing and just relax is very difficult for people (like myself) who pride themselves on getting stuff done. But in order to seek that inner inspiration and call on it when you need it most, you have to quiet the noise in your mind for a little while each day so that you can freely think.
When you try to limit creativity to a certain time of day, nine times out of ten you will get poor results. The one time you do write a lot, it’s because you were at your desk much longer than the time you allotted for the day, and now you definitely do not get much done after that.
Your inspiration must have the chance to grow like a rose. Try to rush it, and it will only wilt like a depressed little sapling. But if you give it room to breathe, it will flourish and become something amazing. It is the beginning of a new year, and there is no better time to try something new. Pick up a book and read. Pick up a brush and paint. Put on your shoes and exercise. Do something to help relax your body each day. Surely, soon, you will be able to write creatively without feeling stuck in a rut.
This article was originally published on the FLVS Creative Writing Club blog.