[I wrote this about a year ago but never published it, and am now taken by how current it still is. But I’m understanding more of why it has been happening, and we’re taking steps and I’m changing my perspective to weather the periodic storms.]

Image: Public Domain

Image: Public Domain

I’m caught up in the noise of the cycle of writing to work, using up my creative energy, and being constantly productive, and I have lost the opportunity and ability to just stop, listen to my own brain, and write what I hear. For not the first time in my life, I’ve felt like I had nothing to say lately. Nothing to contribute. Nothing tangible. How does this happen?

This happens because my brain is in constant motion, trying to keep all the balls in the air. If any of them fall, I have let someone down. So the only ones I can let drop are the ones that I chose to put up there, the ones that are for me alone. I can’t let the ones for work drop, or we can’t pay the bills. I can’t let the ones for my kids drop, or else I’ve failed them somehow. I can’t let the ones for my relationship drop, because it’s so vital to keep making an effort, even when you’re committed to the person. Especially when you’re committed to the person. So I have to let my own balls drop, because inevitably I take on more than I have time for, and I can only keep so much going at once.

This means that I have no quiet time, no time for my brain to just be, mulling over the experiences and ideas that come my way, recombining them into projects, ideas, words for writing, and, my voice. And forget about implementing those ideas.

Sometimes it’s hard to work out what is real for us anymore. We are bombarded with so much information (and misinformation) that we are in a constant state of having to choose and prioritize what we give our attention to. We can’t possibly take it all in, and we know it. That’s one difference between now and the pre-internet days: We didn’t used to know what we were missing because we often didn’t know what else was out there. Now we know much more of what exists, and we have to consciously choose to not pay attention to it, just so we have enough time to work, see people in real life, exercise our hobbies, and find some peace.

I’m constantly trying to keep a balance of sanity and productivity. I know I’m not alone. What tactics do you use?