And it can absolutely crush the creative process.
|Thank you, Marie Kondo|
We all do this now and then - this is not my first time gorging until I burst - and in a way it can be healthy. The only question is, how do we get out of these ruts when we have overindulged and can't face another word? I have two manuscripts I am writing, and even the thought of jumping back into one of those is exhausting. I am still contracted for another manuscript to edit and design for publication, so how do I address my own needs as a writer? How do I get back to the writing I love to do when the outside world has taken the joy away from what I love?
Organizational guru Marie Kondo made herself a pretty nice media career by asking one little question: "Does it spark joy?" Now, she believes in removing clutter by asking if a particular item "sparks joy" within you. This obviously has boundaries - my electric bill has never sparked joy with me, but throwing it away only creates more problems. Furthermore, overindulgence takes away that sense of joy, so we are kinda stuck.
Rather, we have to ask ourselves a simple question: "What inspired me to write?" Not just an author or a book, but what idea started such a fire that we had to not just consume, but create? As I have mentioned many times before, I needed to tell stories of my life, of experiences, of ideas and concepts, analogies and parables brewing inside that needed to come out. And, in knowing that, I find what "sparks joy" in me as a writer.
Now, that may sound like I am just saying to start writing when you don't feel like writing. Nope - life isn't so easy. I approach that joy-sparking idea from other directions. I tell stories with my friends. I hit up an open mic night. Without writing, I find those things that still appeal to that spark, and I feed that spark until it gets a little brighter, more noticeable, more intense, and eventually feeds my creative beast. At that point, I don't get the urge to write.
At that point, I have to write.