My personal life often conflicts with my writing.
My sister asks me to babysit my niece, my mom guilt trips me into tearing out cabinets for lake house renovations and my girlfriend sighs when I say I can’t go to a movie because I’m writing at 8:00pm.
What I need is separation.
Separation from the tediousness of everyday stresses. Separation from the normalcy that leads to indifference.
The irony is that I actually dread that separation. I loath when distance is placed between us, because of one simple truth: I love them.
I realized the same goes for writing. While away, I worry about my blinking cursor and the unfinished work I have yet to complete. I stress that more and more personal tasks will further separate me from my passion.
However, this separation is not without good results. This distance provides a series of needs and nurturing attributes that enforce creativity and strengthen the bond between me and my writing – just like personal relationships.
There is a raw human need for change, while the romanticism of a return sparks creativity and the possibility of no return ignites a passion impossible to match.
The human need for change
Prying yourself from the monotonous staple that is your writing chamber to explore a change of writing scenery is a small taste of the change that we crave. It is human. It sparks creativity when you stand up and walk around, when you write while lying horizontal, when you shift your desk to the other side of the room.
Change means new experiences, and writing is about the embrace and communication of those new endeavors. Writing about your everyday “peel out of bed” routine screams boring.
Separation from your personal life is the same way. You need it to remain clear, to remain toned and to remain sane. While separation from your writing sparks a similar response. It takes you away from a world you are too familiar with – a cozy world where nothing can hurt you and everything is just perfect.
This cozy world destroys creativity.
You need space to breath and take the imperfections of your personal life to reveal the imperfections in your own writing.
“We need to experience the mediocre and the outright rotten; such experience helps us to recognize those things when they begin to creep into our own work, and to steer clear of them.” – Stephen King
The romanticism of return
Distancing yourself from a love that you often dread, brings you closer to another love that you sometimes dread as well.
I love my family, but sometimes I can’t stand them. I also love writing, but the thought of plucking out my keyboard keys and flicking them into a fire often comes to mind as well.
Distance diminishes the duress caused by other loves and strengthens the bonds through the desire of reunion. The thought of seeing your passion or your love one more time in the near future propels us to think of how we will do things differently, how we will make things better and how we will be more creative.
The possibility of no return
Fear is an emotion that binds you to something you love. Fear of death, fear of financial loss and fear of ridicule are all things that push us towards perfection. We desire to see those we love one more time, and one more time after that. What if the love is lost unexpectedly? Life is short, so we want to make sure that every moment is taken in as if it were our last.
The same goes for writing. Separation from writing means the potential to never see it again. Maybe financial woes will cause the distance, or the wide array of family and social responsibilities The possibility of no return sparks a fear – no a love. A love so fierce that emotions and words are required to spill onto the page in the slight chance that it will be the last opportunity to do so.
Separation is a dreadful thought, but it is a harsh reality that actually ignites a flame of inspiration. It opens a world of question that is impossible to address…forcing the mind to run wild with thoughts of pure passion and love.
In what ways has separation ignited your flame of creativity?