when it’s okay to stop

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am not someone who will often stop working. I enjoy working. Working is writing, editing, and submitting. It is reading, and watching, and thinking. It is fundamentally important for my well-being to be doing something that allows me to engage my creativity and challenge myself.

That’s objective truth.

And then there’s the world.

I try not to be political. It’s not my business to tell people how to think. I write stories that most people don’t read. I’m not an influencer and, often, my political views are far more nuanced than the hard lines that we tend to draw in our political system.

I don’t want to be trolled by either side. I speak up when I think it is important and I try to listen more than I speak. There are exceptions to these rules. There are some things that I vehemently oppose and will not debate. Those things tend to be the foundation of my political, social, and cultural belief system.

I write that preamble, because there are times when it is okay to stop. Now, is one of them.

As I said, I like to work. Right now, I can’t find the strength or focus to put words on paper. This blog post feels like a bit of a chore and I am not happy about that feeling.

Sometimes, you need to accept that outside circumstances will, at times, pause you and your progress. I hit a hard pause a few days ago, because I do not have the mental space to sit down and play around in my imagination.

If you’re reading regularly, you know that I recently moved. It went well. But I am still dealing with the small things that pop up after a move. There are a ton of little things that I need to do to make the new space feel like home. Also, a new apartment tends to feel like you’re living in a hotel until you get some type of routine down. It takes time.

It doesn’t mean that I will stop writing until I feel fully comfortable in my new space. But it does mean that I probably won’t drop a few words until next week. That’s okay.

Also, there is some serious shit going on this world. COVID is still out there and it’s really getting hard to be stuck inside for so long. There are protests happening throughout the country (at least they were at the time that I am writing this post) and they come on the heels of a terrible murder that has completely shaken our country.

I feel like an ass writing it, but I wasn’t that negatively impacted by COVID. My family was okay and I had no trouble writing and keeping myself moving. In fact, I finished a few stories, thought about another novel attempt, and even started to think about an idea for a novella.

And then the world hit me. I’m sure it’s hit you too.

It’s okay to give yourself permission to stop. I do it from time to time because you need to allow yourself to miss the work. I’m not thinking about the work. There’s much more going on.

That’s okay. Give yourself the time to breath. Deep, long breaths. Let them in and out. We need time to assess, process, and reaffirm our sanity.

I’m going to get back to it soon. I’ll be writing some blog posts about that process I’m sure. Until then, take the time to watch shitty TV and allow yourself the opportunity to decompress. It’s healthy and needed when there is so much happening in the world.

And know that yes, you should be out there fighting the good fight for others. Protesting and taking civil action is hugely important to a healthy society. I don’t think we should ignore how significant those actions are when people are continuing to feel the pain of oppression. However, you also need you to be healthy. Even if it’s for an hour, give yourself the permission to stop.

ER

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