How we live our spiritual lives is a passion for me, so it’s really no surprise that I’ve begun work on Prayerfully Yours, a book about prayer (obviously :P). I wish I could say that taking care of my spirit is a number one priority and that I have it down to a science, but I can’t. Like my favorite “get organized” mentor, FlyLady Marla Cilley, I’m still working on integrating spiritual disciplines into my life… and I bet I’m not alone.
As Independent Authors, Freelancers, people who “do their own thing,” we often have to work much harder than the “regular Joe” with a typical 9-5 job for financial security (and sometimes just because we’re crazy, driven individuals :D). We get so busy doing we forget that we are human beings. We were created as much to be as to do. As we push ourselves harder to make that deadline, market that book, get our name out into the public view, we often discover that we’ve become drained, that we’re beginning to live fractured lives. Usually this realization comes on quite suddenly, though it wasn’t a sudden shift in what we’ve been doing that caused it in the first place.
- Community — “Join a small group, preferably not made up of just other writers. Pull yourself away from the writing for a time to actually nurture others by praying with them, listening to them, simply enjoying them. Celebrate and enjoy the gift of friendship.”
- Inspiration — “Walk through a garden or an art museum, read really great writing. In a way, this is a form of listening prayer, of hearing God through beauty… Such activities are not a waste of time—they feed [your] soul, which nurtures [your] writing.”
- Sabbath — “You may be worried that taking a day off will put you further behind. But Sabbath actually has the opposite effect. In the weeks that I don’t write on Sunday, my overall production (measured by words written, articles finished, whatever) is higher than it is on the weeks I don’t stop. And on Mondays, after a day of rest, my productivity soars.”
I would add just one more to the list:
4. Be present in the moment. Focus on one thing at a time. If you’re working on a project, then focus on that project and not the to-do list that’s growing longer than your arm. If you’re with your family on an outing, then concentrate on what they’re saying rather than on that deadline that’s fast approaching. When you’re fully in the present, you find great new ways of expressing life’s little things in your writing later.
Being an Independent Author is not easy and it’s not always fun, but it can be fulfilling, especially when you remember to care for your spirit while on The Road to Writing.