The longer I go on, the more I become utterly convinced that life is one giant shout into the void. It’s one epic adventure into the unknown.
It’s just changing circumstance after changing circumstance with no rest in between.
It’s a rollercoaster of emotion that whirls around a universe of entropy. It’s beautiful chaos.
Here are some more tips from me as it begins to dawn on me that the changing of circumstances I might think I dread is actually what forms most of the fabric of my life.
Prioritise Your Time (Again)
I’ve said this many times before, but writing, in fact, any side hustle, is a matter of prioritisation. If you’re not lucky enough to call writing a full-time gig just yet, then you’re going to have to become a master of scheduling, a wizard of the calendar invites, and a Jedi in the art of stolen time.
You need to make sure you set goals that are challenging but also realistic — give your body time to wash and your mind time to rest. If you set out with an unrealistic schedule, you’ll find yourself straying from it and never really returning.
Remember, nobody is physically capable of doing everything. Write down a few goals, suggest to yourself a few priorities, and keep true to those milestones. Give up as much spare time as you have to the cause without draining yourself entirely.
I know it sounds like a balancing act. It is.
Why are we always hardest on ourselves?
There’s nobody more negative and no single voice more off-putting than your own.
Try not to be so hard on yourself.
I’m not saying you have to run away with yourself, start braiding each other’s hair, and tell yourself how much you love yourself. I’m not saying that. Just don’t manhandle your own ego with all the elegance of a wormhole in a washing machine, yeah?
For better or for worse, the stories that we tell ourselves — the tales we whisper in our minds of our own greatness or our own demise — are the ones we actually believe. And, by believing these stories, we breathe life into them.
When the world shifts — perhaps you change jobs, or perhaps there’s a pandemic — try to dial back the self-criticism, too. It’s not self-serving in the end, and it will stifle the words.
Change Your View
When it feels like things might be spiralling out of control, the best tip I was ever given was to focus on what you can control. Don’t waste energy trying to think the whole planet into a different kind of spin — invest time in what is yours alone to control, even if that’s a very small thing indeed.
When we feel like we have control of the small things — the washing schedule, the menu for dinner, or even what socks to wear today — it helps us face the larger things we might not be able to control.
Look, sometimes, with changing circumstances, our bodies and minds just aren’t capable of running at 200 per cent capacity all of the time. This is okay.
As soon as you accept what is out of your control, you give yourself space to do what you can when you can.
We’re all here because we love writing. Let yourself love it again, even if the words in themselves have no real purpose. Enjoy yourself, your time, and your skills for a while. Find the spark that once drove you to be here, chasing the end of the page with your keys.
Never lose that.
It is the answer to the melody of our hearts. It is your very essence. It is you.