Thursday, May 26, 2011

The front burner

I appreciate the concern shown by some readers over my last post. At the moment that I wrote, "Some days are for acting more than reflecting," I was actually in the midst of celebrating something nice in my personal life. But I try to find some universal point in my posts, and the idea that sometimes we write, and sometimes life keeps us a little too busy for that, can certainly apply to the not-so-fun events in life as well. In fact, earlier in the week, I didn't post because I was temporarily under the weather. And during a brief internet check last night, I saw the sad news about the untimely passing of author Bridget Zinn, which only reinforced my feeling that yesterday was a day for me to dive into life with both hands. Which I did.

Not that writing isn't an important part of my life. It's always been there, ever since I could wrap my fingers around a crayon, but I moved it to the front burner shortly after I finished graduate school. For years, I had been writing "on the side," with the main course being school, or work, or romance, or travel. I wrote short stories and I would try a novella-type book draft from time to time. Writing a book was always something I was going to tackle seriously "someday." There came a point, though, where I got tired of having writing on the back burner of my life. I moved it to the front burner and committed to daily writing. And it's probably no coincidence that that's when I started seeing more progress in my writing, too.

Sometimes people ask how I can write after a full day at another job, and it's because writing replenishes me. Hiking is the same way. These activities may tire me physically and mentally, but they recharge my emotional and spiritual batteries. We all spend parts of our days on some things that drain us and others that restore us. I have plenty of obligations, plenty of things that I must do, plenty of things that I do for my own or someone else's good. Those things drain me, even if I enjoy them and find them worthwhile. But writing is one of the fun parts of my day. Writing gives me back some of the energy that other parts of my schedule take away. And so I give myself permission to make time for it regularly.

At some point, we realize life passes quickly, and if there's something we've always wanted to do with this life, we should start on it now.


  1. Love your last line. As I get older, I'm grabbing at things I wouldn't have in the past.