This week I decided to slow down. In my mind I saw myself retreating to a lonely place, a meadow or something, strewn with flowers where I could contemplate life and enjoy just being. Sadly I don’t live in a Jane Austen novel and my plans were quickly scuppered by that dreaded thing – real life.
I am, however, committed to my original plan of at least having a marginally slower pace of life this week (do you see how I compromise?! Oh, for shame!) starting with cooking dinner at a leisurely pace this evening and without trying to simultaneously garden/learn Greek/answer emails. Progress indeed.
Having several jobs seriously exasperates the tendency to multi-task and writing certainly doesn’t help. The thing with writing is that there are always more stories to write, more articles to research, more edits to do. And, annoyingly, I really love it and become a tetchy nightmare if I don’t get the chance to put some words to paper at some point in the week. I am constantly looking for opportunities to write but not wanting to do myself in with too many early mornings and crazy working days. By Friday I’m throwing myself onto the sofa in a melodramatic fit exclaiming ‘I never have time to write’!
A book I started reading recently by Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way – a truly life changing book) called The Right to Write, has really given me food for thought about how we approach our time. As a writing tutor Cameron finds the most commonly repeated phrase to be ‘I don’t have any time to write.’ Her response being, ‘do you have fifteen minutes a day?’ Her very wise logic is that you can either moan about your lack of time of start using your fifteen minutes, what will get you a novel on your desk faster?
She comments that we are always looking for great swathes of time and when we don’t see them we decide we have no time at all and feel frustrated. Granted, this is the kind of behaviour that can lead to the aforementioned crazy multi-tasking but I would also say it could apply with rest. I may not have days for hanging about in meadows but I do have the chance to carve out some time this week for a bit of quiet and recharging. The secret, Cameron says, is to grab those little nuggets of time when you see them. The hovering can wait. I’m off lie about in my garden and pretend I found that meadow after all.