After returning from Italy, I did some housecleaning — mental and otherwise — and eliminated a few pretty large, but nonessential, tasks. No sooner did those things get dumped than a bunch more came in to take their place. Amid this daily shuffle — the changes and the work — it's easy for the writing to get lost.
If you're like me, this happens to you, too. But let's not forget that writing is the thing, why we do the other stuff, the editing practice, the classes, the workshops. Not the other way around. Let's make sure we don't lose the forest for the trees. As editor and literary agentBetsy Lerner reminds in her book The Forest for the Trees, "… you will never finish any piece of writing if you don't understand what motivates you to write in the first place and if you don't honor that impulse."
Let's honor the impulse and nurture it, not suffocate it with a thousand things that have little or nothing to do with our calling. Make the time to write, pull it out of the air, wrest it away from the other tasks that swallow whole these short, wheeling days and arm wrestle the time to the ground — and write.