The transition into the new year has left me strangely bereft of energy. My usual drive to get my massive To-Do List accomplished has vanished with the striking of the clock on New Year’s Day. I’ve never been one for making resolutions, but usually the start of the new year reinvigorates my drive to get things done. Not this year.
Cue writing schedule.
In college I was lucky enough to have the poet Mary Oliver as an instructor. One of the many things she taught me was to make a writing schedule and STICK TO IT.
Whether you have 20 minutes or 3 hours, if you show up at the scheduled time, the muse will learn to as well. It’s important to set a realistic schedule. One you can stick to. For me, that means setting up times after the kids have gone to sleep.
After you set a schedule, you have to show up – regularly. The first week or so may be a lot of scribbling and miscellaneous writing as you wait for the muse to show up. But as the muse sees you there, at the appointed times, she’ll start to trust you and the schedule. The more she trusts, the more she shows up until you get to a point where she’s right there waiting for you the moment you sit down to write. Sometimes, once the schedule is established, the muse will even arrive early – prodding you to get to the writing time.
I’ve learned to be good at keeping my schedule.
All this means, that while I might not be getting much else done right now, writing is still happening. Score one for scheduling!
Perhaps there is a transition in priorities that has yet to manifest, and that’s why I’ve lost my drive. I don’t know. I do know the lapse in energy won’t last. It can’t. There are too many things to be done.
Whatever the reason, I’m sticking with my schedule. Everything non-writing will get done when it gets done.
I hope everyone else’s new year is getting off to a good start.