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The Balancing Act

How
balancing your written ideas helps you balance your life as a writer

               Remember in high-school English class when
your teacher insisted that organizing yourself before you start writing was the best
way to go? It all just seemed like a lot of extra work didn’t it? I can still
remember my grade 12 English teacher making us hand in what she called a “graphic
organizer” before we were even allowed to start writing an essay or story. So, why is this an important thing to do?

                We
have all experienced the feeling of “being on a roll” and not wanting to stop
writing because our creativity seems to flow at an endless level. I can remember
spending almost 15 hours at a time in front of my computer one time because I
was afraid I might lose sight of my ideas. However, I don’t think I need to
mention that in light of our topic this month, there is nothing about a 15-hour
writing day that says “I am balanced.” It also almost always seems inevitable
that when you hit one of those spurts of creativity you get easily distracted
by new ideas, and your initial idea may never reach fruition.

               Louis L’Amour once said “Start writing no
matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”  While there is truth to what L’Amour is
saying, we can’t lose sight of the fact that when you turn on a tap the first
water to flow out of the tap is the stale and impure water that has been
stagnant since the last time you turned on the tap. So be smart about that
initial flow and document the ideas, sure! But refining while you write is not
the most efficient or balanced way to approach your life as a writer.

                Keeping
an organized journal of ideas as they come instead of lunging for your computer
is an excellent way to not end up in this typhoon of creativity that leaves you
dead to the outside world. This is a good way to make the most of your ideas
too, because it leaves you time to reflect on the ideas you’ve had and maybe
make them even better than you had initially imagined. I have always found that
a good idea is like a fine wine or cheese: with time comes a more refined and rich
idea.

                So
if you hit one of those creative fires, grab for a journal not your laptop. I
don’t think it’s ever a good idea to let those creative juices go to waste, but
to put them into a random flurry is certainly not going to do you any favours.
It stands to reason that if your approach to dealing with your ideas is
balanced, then your life as a writer will be more balanced as well. 

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