I set aside certain days to write, and on those days I have a routine: I wake early in the morning, do some yoga, drink some coffee, finish a bit of housework and settle down at my desk prepared for a day’s work. I usually have a strategy on what I want to accomplish in my day. I begin with networking and answering emails; I move on to reviewing new ideas; and then, I dive into the writing and editing. It doesn’t always work out as planned; on some days the spark isn’t there and I can’t seem to grasp the core of a new idea. I lack the energy to finish what I started; I can’t get through the number of pages I promised to complete; and in the midst of my frustration, I hear my partner’s voice say” You are not a machine.”
He’s right, of course. I can’t force myself through a piece if I’m feeling drained. I work best when inspiration strikes and when my energy is sharp. When I don’t have to meet a deadline, I can write at my own pace. When I get frustrated because I didn’t hit my target, it helps to remind myself that I am not a machine – I am a human being who enjoys writing – and, in the words of my partner, I will write when I am ready to write.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.