Monday, December 10, 2012

Find Your Happy Place & Put a Moat Around It

You’re a writer.

You know what I’m talking about when I say, “Life gets in the way sometimes.”

When you're going through a very stressful patch—when you're besieged—the first casualty always seems to be your creativity.

It’s the first piece of ballast to get tossed when the plane is overloaded and headed for the mountain top. And when the bullets are flying and you’re ducking for cover, there’s your poor creativity crawling on its hands and knees amidst the firestorm, insisting that you leave it behind. Because it’s a goner anyway. 

Go! Save yourself, it says.

Gosh, that creativity is one noble son of a gun.

We all need to have certain conditions met in order to work productively, and for a long time we may not know what those are. Sure, we know we need time. But more than time, we need focus. And it’s the thing that’s so fragile, so easily disrupted by the daily wear and tear of life. And by rejection. And by the belief that creativity can only happen in the margins of life, after everything more important has been dealt with.

You'll need a few of these in your moat, too.
Once you figure out the things that enable you to focus, that allow you to be creative—fuzzy slippers, a certain cup of tea in a certain cracked mug, a coffee house bustling with activity, whatever the case may be—you’ve got to protect it. Defend it. You’ve got find that happy place and put a moat around it.  

There will always be things that come up and get in the way. But you need to protect and defend your creativity as if your life and perhaps dozens of fictional lives depend upon it. 

Because it’s true. 

Go on, I’ll cover ya.