Thankful Thursday

Several weeks ago I participated in the Thankful Thursday meme begun by the awesome writers at Oasis for YA. At the time, I said I wanted to participate weekly, but almost immediately that resolve went to wherever it is most of my resolutions disappear to.

I’d still like to set aside Thursdays to talk about things I’m thankful for. And since you can only start from where you are, I’m starting again now.

This week at Dark Central Station, I posted about filling the well. That phrase, borrowed from Julia Cameron, describes the need to replenish one’s inner reservoir in order to create. For several weeks, I’d been pushing hard to be productive on several simultaneous projects, and my well had dropped to a pretty low level. So I took last weekend off. I don’t know how I got to the point where I expected myself to work seven days a week—I suspect I told myself I’d work “just for this weekend” and then, with time, came to view weekends as workdays. Or maybe it’s because weekends used to be my creative writing time, back when my creative writing and my “work” writing had clearer boundaries between them. At any rate, it became the norm for me to work on weekends.

Taking the weekend off was a revelation. I remembered why people look forward to Friday. 🙂 Each day stretched out, full of possibility, as I asked myself “What do I want to do today?” instead of my usual question of “What do I have to do today?” I didn’t do anything particularly exciting: I walked around my town on Saturday and visited a nearby village on Sunday. But how much bigger the world felt when I simply stepped outside! I wasn’t rushing off to do an errand, focused on the next item on an endless to-do list. I was just hanging out and looking around.

It reminded me of when I was a teenager and would spend hours lying on my bed or taking long walks, alone with my thoughts—daydreaming time that may not have looked productive from the outside but was essential for growth on the inside. Writers need that time, and I’m going to look for every opportunity to find more of it. Again, I’m going to start from where I am.

Today I’m thankful for the refreshing, renewing weekend I had—and for the reminder that writers need time to let their minds wander.


About nancyholzner

4 responses to “Thankful Thursday

  • Mark McCann

    Loved this entry. I sometimes feel guilty if I’m not doing something and it was only this week when I got a bad cold that I remembered that it’s nice not to have to do anything once in a while and that you feel better going back to your writing replenished as opposed to burnt out and fatigued. It was nice to see someone else point it out 🙂

    • nancyholzner

      Thanks, Mark! There’s so much emphasis on productivity and the “time is money” mindset. Time may indeed be money, but I’m realizing that, more importantly, time is LIFE. My life. And, as you say, I don’t want to spend my whole life feeling burned out and fatigued. It’s not good for me or for the work I produce.

  • Jessie

    Awesome post – your weekend sounds like pure bliss to me! And down time is so necessary. I’ve been giving myself permission not to write and just enjoy books written by others for a little while. That’s nice too.

    • nancyholzner

      That’s really true. I think it’s good for writers to recapture the pleasures of reading every once in a while. It’s another way of filling the well.

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