Absence makes the heart grow

Mental Health, Writing Process

I haven’t written anything in seven weeks.

Those first couple of days were panic-inducing, the week that followed terrifying. Then the terror eased to discomfort and then the discomfort finally gave way to something I haven’t felt in my creative life in so long…peace.

I was resting.

I was letting myself rest.

Something that has felt utterly impossible since becoming an adult. I am a master over-functioner, incredible at multitasking, and lost without my hustle. If I’m not doing, I’m spinning, my mind filling in the idle quiet with nightmare after nightmare until every cell in my body is convinced they’re real.

But here I am, seven weeks since closing scrivener, and I’m not spinning.

I’m not worrying or exhausted or wrecked with guilt.

I’m ready.

I’m excited.

I’m actually looking forward to receiving my edit letter for book two and I can’t wait to dive back into this story. I can’t remember the last time I longed for writing. I don’t think I’ve ever spent enough time away from it to warrant missing it.

But I do. And I’ve come to realize that that longing, that excitement about getting back to work, is a crucial piece of my creative process that has been missing. For years, I’ve been running on empty, sustained by fear and the pressure to produce. But not only is that unsustainable, it’s unkind.

And I deserve kindness.

In my work, in my art, and in my relationships (especially my relationship with myself) I deserve to experience joy. Because it’s as much fuel for creativity as the fear and anxiety and all of the other things that typically propel me forward. Except joy burns so much brighter.

Joy illuminates all the beauty we miss when we’re stuck in a cycle of worry and doubt.

So not only has this time away helped me find the joy in writing again, it’s also expanded my view of my own creative process. It’s taught me that creating and toiling aren’t one and the same and that struggle is not the only sign of progress.

I can make things without breaking some part of me to do it.

I can make things without breaking.


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