I struggle to maintain balance
so I can write again
I take stolen time during
morning moments to process
thoughts re-establish even keel
and find my tipping point.
Ask the woman struggling with
mental illness how she finds clarity.
I peer under the laundry and unopened mail
Search through the yard of green volunteer plants
that are unintentional yet delightful
Find the nymph stage, red leaf-footed bugs
infesting my yellow tomatoes
brush them off to harvest what can be saved
composting the rest with leaves
grass clippings and food waste
Using the power drill with the mixer attachment
I have stirred up the fertile medium
that will take me into the winter greenhouse.
I grow stronger under my brood lamps
as the natural light is further away
Increasing vitamin D gives liquid courage
that encourages my chard to flourish
in the winter sauna of a front yard sanctuary.
Day Nine: Writing and Not Writing
If you write often or for a living, it’s important to take breaks — to live your life and have new experiences, and to reflect and recharge so you can come back to your desk, ready to hit the keyboard again. Not writing allows you to gain the distance from your words, and thus perspective, which are both needed when it’s time to edit.
Being active every day makes it easier to hear that inner voice.
— Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Write every day, but don’t put your life on hold …
— Vincent Mars, “Writing as a Way of Life”
What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?
If you’re not a full-time writer, or if your day is so full of other tasks that you have little time to write, consider these alternative questions: if you could step into a machine that gave you more time, how would you structure your day? What would you write with this extra time?
You have an extra task for the day: reach out to someone for an interview or collaboration. This person can be a Blogging U. participant (look for fellow course-takers in the #everydayinspiration tag in the Reader), a blogger on WordPress.com or another platform, or anyone else whose work you admire.
For planning purposes, this collaboration post will run on Day 19. We encourage you to start right away, so you have enough time to prepare a draft. (We’ll also provide an alternate prompt on Day 19 for those who choose not to participate — but we hope you will!)