Making space

May 14, 2014 § 5 Comments

I should not be writing this blog post.

I’ve just returned from a meeting with someone who wants his book edited. I have another book to write by the end of August. I need to send my own novel out to do the slush pile sashay and a recipe book sitting at an e-publisher that I really must follow up on. I have a couple of small bloggy-type pieces to write for one of my clients. I have a business writing course to design. I’m hatching a plot to record some of my songs, and writing new ones in what feels like a mad frenzy. I want to do a life coaching course, but I haven’t had time to look for one. My office is a disaster. My home admin is non-existent. I don’t have the time to write this blog post.

And I am as happy as the proverbial pig in mud.

A little over a year ago I sat in Judy Klipin’s office and sobbed for an hour. I was burnt out – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I think I probably sobbed for most of the first four or five sessions while Judy listened and passed the tissues.

At some point I remember her asking me what my ideal working life would look like, and I answered that I’d like to be writing books, predominantly. I didn’t mind doing a bit of journalism, but I loved the substantial body of work that a book gives one, the sense of achievement when you hold it in your hand. I’d like to continue teaching writing as well, I said. I love seeing someone’s face light up when they finally get it.

So, look at my to-do list again. Admin and tidying aside, largely I’m doing everything I want to do, and more. And the songwriting is just the lushest, plumpest, darkest, juice-running-down-your-chin cherry on the cake. Nothing makes me happier than producing a song I’m proud of.

How did I get here? By making space. With Judy’s help I put down all the things that weren’t serving me, all those things that were draining the life out of me, that I was doing out of a sense of duty or guilt or any number of other negative emotions.

I’ve had a fallow period since I did that, one where having nothing to occupy me in the evenings has been the weirdest sensation on earth. Because I’m a doer. Like my grandmother, I always have Things To Do.

But now, after a long recovery period and plenty of time to think and ruminate and plot and plan, I feel like I’m back. Like I’m me. I’m starting to dress like me again, I’m thinking like me, I’m speaking like me, I’m doing the things I like to do. And mostly importantly, I’m giving myself the space – the permission – to be whoever I want to be. It scares the hell out of me, but I’m doing it anyway.

And that, dear friends, is the very best feeling in the world.

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