One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to treat yourself as you would a best friend. Right now, if I were listening to my best friend telling me that she was having a hard time with work because things were so busy and she had made commitments there that she needed to fulfil, I’d remind her that the only imposed deadlines for her writing were the ones she set herself and that, sometimes, we have to reassess our responsibilities and juggle them differently to how we would prefer. Not everything lives up to the ideal, so I’d advise her to concentrate on work, just for this week, and then when it’s all done return to balance that she prefers and try to maintain that in future.
I certainly wouldn’t give her a hard time, ask her why she isn’t committing to her writing every day and accuse her of slacking off. Yet, this is what we often do to ourselves when these situations crop up. We forget to look after ourselves in the midst of providing all that great advice we feel confident to dole out when supporting others. Not so for me any more. I take that great piece of advice and apply it: and it’s made me much kinder – and therefore happier – in the long run.
After tomorrow I can have a well earned rest and then focus again on my desire to write and create. I knew this was going to be a tough week – both in literary and energy terms. I know it’s a blip and I can get through it by remaining calm and realising that this is a short term situation. It helps to keep things in perspective when that feeling of overwhelming pressure begins to creep into life. Thus, I’m cutting myself some slack and letting myself have some time off from writing whilst I get my job done.
So I’ll work through this week and chalk up the lack of writing over the recent days to having to focus on other things for a short time. I’ll take the experience and remind myself how difficult it was to quell my creative needs in favour of having to carry out practical, paid employment and try not to create such a situation again in the near future. After all, that’s what I’d tell my best friend to do.