We’re All Crazy Busy, So I Kept This Short.

394 words, to be precise. Here goes:

We are each pulled in a million different directions. Someone or something is always clamoring for our devotion, our time, our finite energy. How are we to balance our responsibilities, our commitments, and our creative needs? How are we to lay claim to the time and space required for writing?

There is only one hope and it’s not easy—core strength.

pilates-gif

Balance, after all, isn’t the product of stasis. It’s born of movement, moment-to-moment adjustments that maintain equilibrium. The muscles required for physical balance are deep within our bodies, particularly our core. They don’t get truly strong unless we make them strong.

It’s the same with our creative energies. The qualities—determination and commitment come to mind— essential to finding the balance between our busy lives and our creative work are found deep within. They are at our core, and they won’t get strong unless we make them strong.

How? You already know the answer. Practice.

When the world wants us to do literally anything other than write, we need to dig deeply into our core, to what we know matters. We need to assert that creative work is essential for ourselves and, incidentally, the continued progress of humanity. We are the purveyors of story, after all, the Pied Pipers of literacy. Our work is a source— a bubbling, life-giving spring—of connection and challenge, hope and healing. The more that we affirm creative work’s importance to ourselves and others, the stronger it will grow.

But don’t try to force balance, hanging on for dear life until you tip over and chip a tooth. It won’t work. It never works. We have to constantly find and re-find balance. Don’t fear the unexpected shifts. Expect to wobble and make necessary moment-to-moment adjustments.

Go to your creative work when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it. Treat it like a treadmill, set yourself a laughably manageable goal, say 5 minutes of focused activity, and see what happens. You may find that 5 turns into 20. You may find that you begin to take this prioritized time seriously, and if you do, others will.

So deliberately engage. Choose the deep muscles of purpose and passion and use them with intention. If this is hard, good! You’re getting stronger.

back-to-work-gif

Enjoy the day,

Hayley


About Hayley Barrett

I write for young people and live to make kids laugh. My picture book BABYMOON celebrates the birth of a new family and is coming from Candlewick Press. WHAT MISS MITCHELL SAW, a narrative nonfiction picture book, is coming in spring 2019 from Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books and will be illustrated by Diana Sudyka. I’m represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

 

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

11 responses to “We’re All Crazy Busy, So I Kept This Short.

  1. Thank you, Hayley, for this wonderful reminder. I really needed it today! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carleen M. Tjader

    Thanks, I need this reminder constantly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I needed this as well. Thank you, Hayley.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great reminder, Hayley! And good timing with the season!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kevan Atteberry

    That is the kick in the butt reminder I needed.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. kathalsey

    Hayley, it’s like you read my mind. Gotta get that muscle moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JoAnn DiVerdi

    Hayley how did you know what I was thinking; what I was trying to do; and, most importantly, what I needed to hear!! Thank you for putting it all so eloquently.

    Like

  8. pmv2452

    Hayley!!! You’re amazing! Well done!

    Like

  9. Christina Uss

    Haley – this was perfect. 5 minutes? I can do five minutes. (And you’re right – it always turns into more.) Thanks so much for the reminder!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s