There is nothing easier in life than slipping into a rut. Believe me; I know that all too well. I’ve been in that dimly lit abyss too many times to forget that lesson.
Your days melt into each other like suckers left on the table in the summer, bright colors oozing and solidifying into a dull brown congealed mess. Doing nothing is just so much easier than doing anything else.
It’s just too easy to slip into the monotony of letting your days lead you, going with the flow on autopilot. You forget about you.
That will never be truer than it becomes as you go through life, getting older, and have more and more responsibilities heaped on you.
One day you realize that the only time you have for you is the commute to work. Far from relaxing and impossible to do the things you would like to be doing.
At this point, it becomes crucial to shake off that old creativity hat, whack the dust off it, and remold it to fit.
If you are a reader, you need to find ways to read. Yeah, a no brainer, right? Easier said than done sometimes. I had a hard time giving up the printed book. Electronics just aren’t the same. But, what they are is convenient. I can fit, literally, hundreds of books on my phone. Wow. Kobo and Kindle both have free apps you can download on most smart phones, tablets, you name it, and turn your device into a portable eReader without the cost of buying another device just for books.
With eBooks, I can take five minutes to read anywhere and anytime. It’s come down to that, grabbing five minutes to read, write, or edit when and where I can. Schmooze, share, follow, and keep up on book news find their niche where they can.
I especially like the white print on black background available with eBooks. I can read in the car while my spouse drives (coming out of winter, it’s been mostly dark the past months), and in bed, without a bright reading light. I’ll let you in on a little secret. That’s pretty much the only time I get for reading now. And at bedtime, I’m usually so beat that I can’t make it through a page without falling asleep.
That’s the other benefit. When I wake up and fumble for my book that fell on the floor when I rolled over after falling asleep, your eBook saves your page. No flipping through pages and spending your entire small block of reading time trying to find your spot, sometimes finding it just as your time runs out.
There is also no shortage of free books, both in print and eBook, if you know where to look. Discounted books too.
The one difference is that there is such a glut of eBooks on the market between the publishing houses, small presses, and self-published books, that authors themselves are giving their books away in hopes of getting reviews and followers.
This is my own observation, but eBooks and print books do have one big thing in common: I’ve probably read about the same number of bad books in both. Being put out by a large press does not mean a book is good, and being self-published does not mean it isn’t.
If you want to be a writer, you have to write. You have to write, write, and write some more. You have to edit that ten times and more, and then go back and edit again. You have to read and explore books and the book culture.
If you haven’t written in a few years because life got away with you, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you have to give up.
And when you find, like me, that life has filled you up and you are so overwhelmed by time and expectations that you don’t have time for writing, then you have to find more creative ways to catch those rare moments to breathe and write and edit.
Grab those five minutes when you can. Get creative. Get inventive. Learn to write and edit under stress, duress, and with a lot of interruptions and distractions around if you have to.
When you don’t have the time to write blog posts, but you still need to keep your blog alive and active, share that interesting article you happened on. Share industry news; something that you can click and share in a few heartbeats. Done.
Take those ten minutes in line to flip through emails and keep up on what’s going on, or to keep in touch and do a little schmoozing with the writing community.