Have you ever heard the phrase, “absence makes the heart grow fonder?” Probably not, but I have, ’cause I’m worldly like that. And, for the most part, it feels true. Right? I mean, have you ever spent so much time with someone you just couldn’t stand to be around them anymore? I know I have. But, then when they are gone for an extended period of time, you begin to miss their annoying presence, you miss the little things they did that made you want to claw your face off.
This is how I feel about writing. I’ve taken an extended leave from writing these past couple of years. I became distracted, as I often do, by another creative endeavor, but one I now feel became more a source of consternation than creation. The benefit of such an event though has realigned my objectives.
It is easy for us to sometimes lose ourselves in something else for a while, but if you love something and set it free, and it comes back, then it must be meant to be, right?
I’ve never had an easy time at writing, nor, as you can tell from the infrequency of my blog posts, been very prolific or dedicated. This is not because I don’t want it, but because I lack the proper will and motivation to stick to anything which requires a concerted effort. I am more of a sprinter than a marathon runner. Endurance has never been my strong suit.
What’s my point? Well, it is this: Sometimes, it is rather helpful to step away from something for a time to gain invaluable perspective. It is a funny thing, perspective. Human beings seem to only be capable of truly understanding and internalizing something when they experience it first-hand. How many of you, as children, heard an adult say, “You’ll understand when you’re older,” and you were like, “Aw, hell no. You’re gonna explain this sh*t right the hell now,” and then you got grounded and spent the next few hours wondering what could possibly happen with only the passage of time that would so radically change one’s world-view?
I hated that. And now, as a parent, I am remiss to discover I give that very same advice to my own daughter. Ugh. I hate being an adult.
I digress. The point is that many who are writers are so intensely immersed in the idea of becoming a writer they forget why they chose to write to begin with (because, unlike some of those weirdos who say “I have to write. I can’t not write,” I choose to write, not because of some strange *****made up***** genetic impetus that forces me to).
It is absolutely vital for writers to get out into the world and try new things, find new hobbies, and essentially live life (yes, that terrible advice all writers give to other writers). But, like it’s equally useless sibling advice, this advice is equally as true.
So, don’t feel for a second that stepping away from your notepad or computer is as detrimental as your imagination would lead you to believe. Some of us are marathon runners, and some are sprinters. While it never hurts to develop and train for one, don’t feel ashamed for being adept at the other.
Creativity is a difficult beast to rein in. Sometimes, it is better to loosen the leash a bit, and see where it may be trying to lead you.