Creating a More “Zen” Writing Life

Written by on February 20, 2011 in Conversations on the Healing Journey with 0 Comments

I give up. No, seriously. I’ve tried and tried to establish a writing schedule – a few hours a day, a few days a week, all day, partial days, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, in the middle of the night, at the crack of dawn.

I have never been able to stick to any of them.

The reasons varied. Sometimes it was because I was involved with men throughout my life who, while they liked the idea of my creativity, didn’t like the actual reality of me doing it.

And sometimes it wasn’t the time and discipline but the passion with which I embraced it that threatened the men in my life. (Actually had someone tell me once he’d rather I work 12 hour shifts in a factory than spend time, even if less, with my music and writing, because I wouldn’t love my factory work like I did my creativity.)

Other times it was survival demands as a mother, more often than not, single mother, throughout my parenting career,

But much of the time it was me, not being able to claim time for me, not able to create the space I felt I needed. Or spending my energy on wrestling with my own hungry dragons – they’re ravenous when they awaken – or doing my Atlas thing trying to hold up what seemed a whole world, my world, of crushing depression on my shoulders.

My artist’s life never seemed to appear but for temporary moments, elusive, never really here or staying long if they were.

Well, what if it never came – my artist’s life? What if the most I could ever hope for were sporadic opening and closing of windows, borrowed time, stolen time? Should I pout and resent, because the sun doesn’t shine every day for me?

What if those window shutters weren’t shutters at all, but clouds drifting across sky, hiding not the sun but opening a shadow umbrella to protect me from the heat?

And what if, instead of seeing what I don’t have, or becoming blind with frustration, I looked up to see what shapes, what stories, what fantasies come to me in shapes of puff and white against the blue? And when the clouds are flat and gray, what if I let the tears that fall from them wash and refresh me even still anew?

What if my general assumptions were in error to begin with, if it’s not about having “writing time” or “recording time”, but being present enough to just have this time?

Because maybe I have been doing to myself what others have – demand of my time out of expectations, and not allowing time itself to speak to me in its own voice.

Today, I had a number of writing sessions. Some short, some longer, but I took them throughout the day as they presented themselves. And because I wasn’t demanding that a block of time be this or that, my day was peaceful – grateful for the time I had to write, and present for the time I didn’t.

I can wake up early enough and start the day with my manuscript and tea. And what gets done gets done. And what doesn’t doesn’t. But I will be, truly be, wherever I am. I give up the struggle.

And something tells me, I will wind up accomplishing more than I can even think right now…not because of any determination on my part, but because a huge space has opened up inside me – the wonderful kind, the rich and fertile kind.

And it’s occurred to me, that what had been taking up my time more than anything else must have been my own anxiety and my own demands on me.

I did not know how to protect my time from those who would use it for their own purpose, and I did not know how to protect my time from my own demands. But I think I’m getting there.

Today was a good day…not a writing day, though I did that.

It was a good day that was simply lived.

About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, using spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. Demian is a traveler on the healing journey with a lifelong love affair with the creative process. .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Instagram
%d bloggers like this: