I sing in a choir.
I would have more time to sing and practice music if I didn’t spend so much time writing. Or vice versa. And if I didn’t spend so much time reading, I would have more time to write. And so on.
I don’t want to give up any one of those things. I don’t think I can. I did go without a choral group for a year–between the end of graduate school and when I auditioned for my current group–and I didn’t like it at all. I could feel something was missing, and it made me tense. As for reading, I never stop reading. Not ever. Reading is the foundation of everything.
I stop putting words on paper or into the computer for periods of time, sometimes long periods of time, but I don’t think I actually stop writing very often. The stories are still composting in the dirt of my backbrain, and little tendrils curl up out of the dirt now and then.
I poke things into the dirt: events from daily life, joy from singing, information from the books I’ve read. If I don’t do those things, I don’t write nearly as well. I need more patience than I have. I need to feel less pressured to produceproduceproduce wordswordswords when I’m in that in-between stage, the fertilizing stage. When I start a big writing project, then I shift over to harvest time, to get all the crops in quickly before they rot.
I’m going to stop before my metaphor bursts and gets pollen over everything!