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Feeling guilty for being creative/productive?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I know that I am in an incredibly fortunate position whilst in lockdown. My stress levels are relatively low, and for the most part I am able to enjoy being at home, and have the privilege of having the mental and emotional energy to be creative and productive during this time.

Alot of people have gotten on the defensive recently about being guilted into being productive with all this spare time. Everyone is dealing with this difficult time the best way they can on an individual basis. For some this means not being creative at all, and that is perfectly alright. Many people are grieving the things that have shifted in their lives.

But should those of us who are being creative and/or productive during this time feel bad about it? Should we withold from sharing our progress and successes so as not to upset those who are struggling?

Of course not.

What about the people who we are inspiring? Those people may be struggling too, and by sharing our successes we might just be motivating them, or at least bringing some positivity into their day.

Yes, many people are in survival mode, and they simply don’t feel inspired. No, they shouldn’t feel guilty for it. But, these are personal feelings, and are ultimately the responsibility of the individual. What upsets one person may inspire another. It is not up to everyone else to make those that are struggling feel less bad by not sharing their positive news.

I hope that my daily writing inspirational posts are a light for you on your dark days.

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Releasing the Pressure.

Last night I came down with a cervicogenic headache. The result of way too much time spent sitting at the computer over the past few weeks, putting unnecessary stress on myself to be productive with all this extra free time.

I recently finished typing the revised edition of my book Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two. After that, I finished typing up four new short stories, AND designed the eBook covers for them. Last weekend I finally reached a months-long goal of uploading my book The Wilted Rose to Kobo, and yesterday I also published The Wilted Rose to Google Play Books. I’ve also been working on my Irish psychological suspense novella.

When I get into this anxious-productive mode, my self-care drops, and so does my overall mental and emotional well-being. I have been finding it so hard to control the anxious thoughts dominating my mind and driving me to produce results. But then I remembered that these are just thoughts-my own thoughts, my own high standards. No-one else is placing these expectations on me. There is no external deadline being imposed on me. And I can just let these thoughts go.

There is a little resistance to letting them go, of course. But I let them go anyway. Over and over again, as many times as it takes for them to go away for good.

Last night during meditation, I feel like I finally let go of the expectation I’ve been placing on myself recently, to power through this revision and publishing process and be super productive during self isolation. I had a moment of clarity, where I realized I just didn’t want to this to myself anymore. I have reached this point before, and I am patiently remembering the lesson.

Right now I am being reminded that there is no rush. I am living life on my terms now, and don’t have to provide evidence of success in any specific period of time, or fit in with another person’s timeline, or prove the validity of my writing journey. I can walk this journey at my own pace for the rest of my life. There is no need to rush anything. This has been the biggest lesson isolation has delivered to me so far.

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