To have the time to write was always the issue for me. Yes, I could have gotten up earlier, or gone to bed later, when I was raising my family, but I didn't. I could have carved out a special time that became my sacred writing hour when my children were leaving the nest, but I didn't. I could've committed to a part-time writing schedule when I was finishing up the last of my thirty year teaching career, but I didn't.
My consistent writing practice began the the first of June last year, when my eternal summer vacation began. 272 days of retirement, so far, and I have 270 blog entries. I can't NOT write now.
For me, writing is free therapy. I can explore the jumbled thoughts that tumble around inside my head, and by the time I organize them, and put them on paper, the chaos subsides, and peace is restored, if only temporarily, until the next batch of thoughts starts to assemble.
Every time a slow panic starts to simmer, and worry nibbles at my brain about having enough writing material to sustain a daily blog, I realize that it is time to restore balance in my life. All it takes to stimulate more ideas is more living, and less writing. If writing is all I did, there wouldn't be much for me to say. I find that spending a day with my camera, hiking outdoors, or visiting loved ones, or reading a book written by another writer, is usually all it takes to get my juices flowing again.
My memories are triggered by reading the works of others. My own feelings and emotions are stirred when experiencing an event for the first time, or revisiting a place or event, even if only in my mind. What I write is memoir.
When I write memoir, I'm intimately familiar with all of the elements of the story, and I find them easily managed. I don't have to figure out all of those pieces of the story puzzle because all of the elements have already been sorted for me; my only job is to retell the tale in such a way that others can experience the story through my writing.
Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyze yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it. -Octavia E. Butler
This quote from Octavia Butler intrigues me because the free therapy is one of the reasons I am drawn to writing. I haven't felt the need to return to counseling because I ask myself the tough questions now, and explore the answers myself, without needing to sit on someone else's couch, and to pay them to listen to me think out loud. The thing that really intrigues me, now that I'm retired, is now to figure out how to make money at what I love doing. I trust that by keeping at it, and keeping myself open to the possibilities, I will figure out that missing piece for myself. Until then, I write, and I write, and I write. The answers will come; they always do.