The one principle that has always guided my writing is striving to make it better. However, because I’m the writer, editor and reader, I don’t always perceive subtle nuances that can make a piece tighter and more relevant for the reader.
Knowledge has many layers. Often to make a change in the way we do something, it is necessary to peel upper layers, and uncover the foundations that formed a habit in us, or instilled a discipline, sometimes incorrectly. This peeling process is often painful as we realize there are things we have learned and believed in, which we must discard.
What makes for procrastination, in my tasks and routines, is a pervading sense of fatigue. After much searching I’ve been able to realize this fatigue goes beyond physical but it is also mental and emotional. This applies to my writing as well as everything else. I’m convinced there are changes I must make to make it recede, if it can’t disappear, and one of them is self-nourishment.
I’ve been a caregiver for many years. My sister who is handicapped, my children, my mother who became ill with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and my own mental and emotional disorders. But what I realized in this year that is coming to an end, is that I’ve failed to nourish my essential sources, and have thus acquired fatigue and procrastination.
What changes can I make that will help me overcome these? My first thought is my love of poetry, music, the scriptures, prayer, journaling, and making a daily practice of gratitude. When you are grateful you have no room for disappointment or despair. You see the world from a different perspective. The question, is it fair? becomes, is it warranted? There’s many things I can stop doing that will feed the fatigue and procrastination.
Making simple morning rituals, such as reading a few pages of scripture, making myself a cup in herbal tea, listening to music that gladden me, writing a list of what to do for the day. Refuse to let someone else’s urgent demands, or conflicts, derail me. Giving space to myself to feel better if I don’t feel well. Take a walk. Just go around a few streets. Write my thoughts as I journal.
How will these changes reflect in my writing or make it better? Probably it will make it more relatable. Also, writing with the reader in mind can help me focus, and revise more and longer. Striving to send out a better message. Stretching my limits so I can meet the needs of the person on the other side of the page.
I am thankful that all these thoughts have come together. Like weaving a tapestry, the different things I incorporate into my routines and my drafts, will form a lovely pattern. My need for beauty can be fulfilled. And striving for perfection will be seen as it is, a way of doing myself, and the reader, a disservice.