…when September ends.
Usually, with the arrival of Autumn, I feel a renewed sense of purpose. Autumn, for me, has always been the time of year when writing becomes my reason for being – the longer nights are all about reading, writing, drinking lots of tea and contemplation. I’ve become more aware that I do have a lot of free time. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, with all the different projects and things that I’ve involved myself in: but I know that I have a choice about what to do with my time.
Over the past few months, I’ve been struggling with how to make my time more intentional, to make sure I do the writing, reading and creating that form the backbone of my work and passion. I have been spending more time than I need to on social networking. Whilst I’ve met some incredible and inspiring people in the past few months, I also feel that when I commit to something, I allow it to consume my energy. It’s something that I’ve recognised about myself over the past few months. I’m an all or nothing kind of person. When I commit to a project, I often put too much of myself into it.
This kind of ‘all or nothing’ giving has a lot to do with introversion, and my type – INFJ – which means that I always get involved with things that align with my values and principles. I have always wanted to make the world a better place for people, to make a difference – but in a quiet way. The things that I believe in – equality, inclusion and empathy – mean that I will always strive to do more than my best with things. Often, this leads to burnout, and I don’t always recognise the warning signs before it’s too late – I will give and give but don’t always take, or ask for anything or little in return.
Yes, it does sound a little like being a martyr about things – and I recognise more now that it’s okay to ask for other people’s help, to ask for time to myself, to focus on what I need to do. To say ‘no’ more often. People who recognise their limits and take the time to develop themselves have more energy and understanding of how to be a better ambassador to their causes. I don’t always feel I’ve done enough: there will always be more to do. Over the summer, this feeling has made me feel paralysed. I’ve been taking a closer look and recognising that my energy is not infinite. Being a freelance writer and general creative person, I need that energy. I need that energy to take me down the paths I’ve started with my work.
This is partly why my own blogging has taken a back-seat – because I’ve been working out how to make things work. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging more and will be on social media less – writing and reading more, and making my creative work my focus. I wrote this post as an explanation to my readers – I appreciate all of you more than you know. As I see people following me in the top right corner each day, I feel grateful: even through this desert of creation each new follower has reminded me that writing is what I’m here for – my work and passion.
‘Writing is not a matter of time, but a matter of space. If you don’t keep space in your head for writing, you won’t write even if you have the time.’ – Katerina Stoykova Klemer.