Room for Rent: Give your writing some space, for the love of God!

I’m stuffing lettuce in my face right now.  Guilt tripped after a weekend with the family, I devoured bite size bits of chocolate, ate french toast for supper, and cheesy potatoes for breakfast.  But I was leaving soon, and if I didn’t eat them for breakfast, I wouldn’t get any more!

Penitence: a light green salad, smidge of a smidge of a drizzle of caesar dressing, and Morning Star chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce and pomegranate juice.  It’s sort of like a kids meal at a fast food restaurant isn’t it, which tells you how well I prepared for this week’s resolution to eat healthier.

I swear to you, come morning, it’s back to Luna Bars and orange juice for breakfast.

Ok, Jess, distract the readers from your failings, what did you accomplish this week?

Let’s see, I relaxed. Sure that may not sound like an accomplishment, but for me, it’s not an easy thing to do.  And I bet many of you find it difficult too.  We writers can procrastinate to no end, but that’s not the same thing.  Say it with me, it’s not the same thing!  Procrastinating requires you to be doing other things when you should be doing something else more important.  But I had no immediate task to undertake.  I was free for three days to lay on the couch, watch movies with my parents, color with my niece, and read 100 pages of Jane Austen’s Emma while either in bed or in the tub.  That’s right, I took baths! To some, the notion of a bath is disgusting, as you’re sitting in the same water for so long, but I freaking love them!!!  And we have no tub at our house.  Well, we do, but it’s in my roommate’s bathroom, and I wouldn’t step a toe in that tub; it’s full of man hair and year old mold.  ylech!

I just got to hang out for a few days with my best friend, the red fleece blanket my parents call “Bette.”  Don’t ask.  I saw my dad attempt to latin dance, and my mother repeatedly fall asleep during every movie we watched.  I had my two year old niece pretending to be a monster crawl all over me growling and tell me what I thought was her monster name, “GaGaGooGi.”  Turns out, she wanted to recite “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.”  *shrug*

I also attended a church service for the first time in maybe four years, Christmas excluded.  My dad recently transferred, if you can use that verb while talking about religion, to a new church and my mom still goes to Catholic mass.  I decided to appease him and go to his service on Sunday morning.  I was a little out of my realm.  Half an hour before the service started was pure parish singing, and there were a decent number of raised arms about me.  I’m not comfortable with that.  I ventured down that path once before, and the more I got into it, the more I found out my beliefs differed from everyone elses.  Still, I admit, it was moving.  The pastor had a very moving lesson to teach us, and I applied it as fittingly as I could with my current endeavors.  The lesson essentially taught us, “God is a filler, not a forcer.”  God will never force us to do anything, but if we give him SPACE he will fill it with all his goodness.

Ok, stay with me.  I’m not about to change platforms and write about religion.  But I can appreciate situations where I feel uncomfortable.  And I can learn from them, and from those around me.  Even though my religious views don’t match my fathers, it seemed more meaningful that I go with him, and when he held my hand in prayer, I felt it shake.  So, I listened to the sermon, and I said, “Self, how can you make SPACE for your writing?  What will you allow your SPACE to be filled with?  Who will you show off your new SPACE to?  And before you can do that, what must you clear away first?”

When I opened my thoughts to my writing, and how a silly thing like SPACE could impact it, I was sort of stunned.  I think it does apply that for us to be creative and embracing of criticism and feedback, we have to open and give ourselves SPACE to hear those things.  For us to try a new idea, a new genre, a new publishing venture, we have to give ourselves SPACE to show those things.

How are you giving yourself SPACE this week?

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11 responses

  1. I went to Costco with my hubby and we ate at McDonald on the way home. So much for healthy eating today, but there is always tomorrow. I bought goat cheese with cranberries pressed into it. Doesn’t that sound healthy? Possibly very flush with calories, but delicious! What can I serve it on? Bread? Ahem.

    Let’s talk about space. Whatever space God hasn’t filled in me, He is welcome to have. I know who butters my bread, and so generously. Oops, more calories! Blessings to you, Jess…

    1. Oooh, that cheese sounds delicious! I don’t blame you one bit, it’d have made its way into my shopping cart as well.

  2. Very appropriate blog for me tonight as I consider the momentum I’ve built in certain areas of my life and the momentum I need to build with my in-progress novel.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Glad I could get the gears rollin’! You always have fun things to talk about so I’m happy to give back this time!

  3. I accidentally stopped by, and spent lot of time reading your posts. I love your writing!
    I think relaxing myself might be a kind of giving SPACE…..keeping myself calm and happy. But I cannot do that effectively, not yet.

    1. Please accidentally stop by again! I wish you success as you try to train yourself to relax. I honestly think that’s what we have to do. We have to train our minds and our bodies to breathe and just be. If you’re a writer, check out my post http://jesswords10.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/the-butt-in-the-chair-approach/
      It contains an exercise that helped me to get going with relaxing and then writing. Best of luck to you!

  4. I thought I was going to wretch when you mentioned Morning Star nuggets, but then you had to up the ante and talk about man hair and year-old mold.

    {Shivers.}

    Thanks for that particular word picture…

    1. Thus is my life. Besides, you’ve read about my dad, it takes a lot to freak me out nowadays. 🙂

  5. This really struck a chord with me. My dad is actually a priest, but my own beliefs have changed quite a lot since I left home. I know exactly what you mean about needing to ‘appease’ him!
    I think that writing, or whatever you choose to devote a lot of time to, can have the same therapeutic effect as religious belief, as long as you create that space for it. Great stuff!

    1. Thanks for commenting. I’m glad this meant something to you. I agree writing or composing music or building houses or painting by number, whatever, can all be therapeutic if it allows you a moment of peace in your mind. What I really want to focus on next week is how I can maintain that idea of space in my life to clear away the stressors and obstacles and focus my energies on my writing or my self health. I think we can all benefit from a little space now and again.

  6. […] post, I challenged us writers to give ourselves SPACE and I’m still impressed with the idea to […]

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