“Cultivating Your Writing with Time Away” by Jan Kirchner
There have been many aspects of my life that have kept me busy. My purpose for this post is to talk about a couple of these that keep me very busy, and then to explain why taking time away for yourself is important. In my efforts to cultivate my writing, I may feel a bit of imposter syndrome, but as long as I’ve worked so hard to reclaim my mental health, I shouldn’t feel guilty about taking the time I need to become the writer I’ve always desired to be.
The first thing that keeps me forever busy is my job. I’ve been a supervisor since August of 2021, and I work easily 50-60+ hours a week. Yes, one week within the scope of my job. So, how I managed to get Holes in Your Umbrella together will be forever a wonder. But the next busy task is my daughter. In my poem, “Presenting My Daughter” featured in my book, I discuss the challenges I’m faced with being her mom. And trust me when I say there are many challenges to being this wonderful child’s parent. She will forever be my mini-me. Even though in February, she turned “sweet & sour” 16, she will forever be a priority in my life.
The next task that has proven to now take up a good chunk of time is not only writing my books, but also promoting them. If I were going through a traditional publisher, I would have a department devoted to the marketing and promotion of my novels. But since I’ve declared myself an indie publisher, which I do not regret, I must do all the marketing and promoting myself. It’s becoming a mini part-time job on its own. If I let it.
With all that being said, it is extremely important to the maintenance of my mental health to not let all this busyness swallow me up. I could see myself getting completely lost mentally and emotionally if I’m not careful. This week, I started using up a few hours of vacation time at work to focus on some things at home. My husband and I even went on an afternoon movie date to see the new Spider-Man before it left the theater. If creative juices aren’t flowing from home, another option to recharge and gain some productive writing timing can be by planning a short weekend writing retreat getaway so you can have complete 100% solace to continue working on your next book.
Of course you don’t want to let the important people and things in your life down. However, in order to avoid regressing in your recovery, it is important to prioritize your mental and emotional health.
Sometimes she’s felt a little bit like Alice having fallen down the hole, following after the White Rabbit. However, most days she is the Mad Hatter who outwardly appears normal yet is crazier than a loon in her own mind. Her name is Jan. As long as she could remember, she’s always struggled with some form of mental and emotional health issues, but it wasn’t until she turned 40 that she found the strength to get professional help. As of 2021, she was diagnosed bipolar-depressive with anxiety, PTSD, and most recently borderline personality disorder. The BPD diagnosis came as a bit of a shock. She’s always struggled with the internal question of Who is she? But what she is finally embracing is she is we, and we are she. Enjoy more from Jan’s blog, Pieces of Fractured Glass. And please feel free to reach out to Jan via https://linktr.ee/jankirchner which is the home to all the links where you can connect with her and her latest publications.
More from Jan Kirchner:
Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University. Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside Detective. Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous. Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world. You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.
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