My constant struggle is if I’m doing enough.
I know that it’s not really a quantifiable thing, whatever enough is. It’s enough that I’m a functional member of society. It’s enough that I have a career. A marriage. A house. Two degrees!
It’s enough that I’ve achieved one of my bucket list goals, which is to be published.
But because I have a chronic illness, I spend a lot of time resting. Lying in bed with heating pad or an ice pack or sometimes both, depending on what ails me. I spend a lot of time with the TV on for company, since my partner works a somewhat opposite schedule from me. I spend a lot of time doing nothing.
I don’t think you can truly do nothing. I’m often thinking, which is the first step to writing. I never sit down at the computer with NO ideas, never stare down that blank page and blinking cursor with nothing in my pocket. I do a lot of the prep work internally. Like turning over a rough stone in my mind until it’s smooth enough to be put down onto paper. I know some writers make outlines or mood boards or elaborate whiteboard displays. I say do whatever works for you.
For me, I lie in bed and just think about stuff. Or I take a shower and think about stuff. Or I drive my commute and think about stuff.
But is it enough? Is the full time job and the weekly chores and the books and the social media presence, is it all enough?
The trick I used sometimes is tried and true is to ask myself if I would speak to a small child the way I’m speaking to myself. And I know that the answer is always no, I wouldn’t. I would tell them they’re doing such a good job. I would praise them for accomplishing any task. I would remind them to take the breaks that they need to take. Eat a snack and have some juice. And if that fails, there’s always Captain Picard to remind me: