My everyday life has taken over – big deadlines in my day job, selling my home and moving house, a lost cat, not to mention being a mum, friend, daughter, sister, lover… each day is packed with so many competing demands that my burning desire to write remains unsated for the moment.

It never goes away, that need to translate the world in my head onto the page. I try to slot it in around other things – scribbling when I’m stuck in traffic, waiting for a meeting to start, the kettle to boil or my son to come out of his piano lesson. It’s fleeting and unsatisfying, but it’s something.

The world seems heavier when I’m not writing. It loses some of its colour. Writing makes me feel light and free. It fills me with joy. Other things give me joy but they are a different flavour and it leaves me feeling incomplete. This is perhaps why I write, to complete myself. Or maybe just because it’s the best fun I can think of.

How does your life feel when you’re not doing the thing you love most? Do you get anxious that it’s slipping from you? Do you develop a strategy to force it back into your day? Or do you wait it out? Something else?

I accept it as part of the rhythm of life, allowing other parts of your world to take priority when they have to. Sure, it feels like a major aspect of myself is missing, that the full spectrum of my life is beyond my grasp for now; I’m living but I’m not fully alive. There’s no constant chatter of characters competing for my attention, no other world sitting on my shoulder waiting for me to slide into it the minute I leave the office, no burst of excitement as the next scene takes shape on the page.

But that’s okay. Soon I will be settled in my new home, with space to lose myself in the world of my novel again, and other parts of my life may interrupt then, but they won’t stop me. I can’t begin to describe how much I’m looking forward to that.

And hopefully by then, my cat will be back by my side.

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2 thoughts on “What Is Life Like When You’re Not Writing?

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