Why It’s Important to Take Time to Feed Your WritingWhy It’s Important to Take Time to Feed Your Writing https://www.readerviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Lectures2_Elixir-France-22-scaled-e1662626228113-768x768-1.jpg 768 768 Reader Views Reader Views https://www.readerviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Lectures2_Elixir-France-22-scaled-e1662626228113-768x768-1.jpg
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by Daniel Waldman, Author, Editor, Producer of Elixir Writing Retreats
Writing is simultaneously a solitary and a social endeavor. It’s solitary in that we often feel we need to seclude ourselves from the outside world to get what’s in our head onto the page. But it’s also social in that we don’t only write only for ourselves; we seek validation and feedback from peers and readers in order to grow.
And yet, many of us hardly have time in our busy lives to do either. Between our jobs, our families, our social commitments, our responsibilities, etc., many of us barely have an hour or two a day to devote to writing. Just finding the mental energy to work on our craft can be a serious challenge, and it’s very easy to procrastinate. After all, it’s often easier to doomscroll social media than it is to get new words onto a page.
What’s more, we live in a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty that have their own mental toll to pay. Political and economic instability, technological advances that threaten livelihoods, new mediums that are changing storytelling and disrupting traditional literary models (for better or worse). All of these can be distracting at best, anxiety-inducing at worst.
But they all have one thing in common: They make it difficult to focus on crafting our stories.
And yet, there’s never been a more important time to tell stories. Stories can give us new ideas, hope, a better sense of self and of our own humanity. Stories can inform us and help us find our way today. More importantly, they are a reflection of the times we live in (even if they’re set in another time, world, or universe). They can serve both as records of the present moment, but also roadmaps for future generations to understand their own humanity.
But we can only tell our stories—the way we want to and the way they need to be told—when we take time to feed our writing.
What does that mean exactly? To me, it means finding a combination of time, place, and resources to not only focus on storytelling, but to devote energy on honing our craft. It’s not about shutting out the outside world, but rather engaging our senses and our fellow writers. It’s about getting feedback, brainstorming, and discussing all the ins and outs of developing character, story, setting, etc.
The truth is that creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Writing is as influenced by our surroundings as it is by our own imagination and experiences. When we get together with people who share our love for writing, our work improves. When we visit places that spark our imagination, our creativity flourishes. And when we inundate our senses with nature, good food, maybe a little wine, we can find that spark that brings it all together.
Taking time to feed your writing is more than just a commitment. It’s an investment in yourself as an artist. And there’s never been a more important time to do that.
About Daniel Waldman
Daniel Waldman is a former marketing and PR executive turned expat and freelance writer, editor, and retreat producer at Elixir Writing Retreats. He has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations, including 7 years running his own boutique agency.
He got his start as an editor at a vanity press, and later went on to lead marketing and communications at a variety of marketing agencies before starting his own business.
He has a BA in English from Loyola College in Maryland and a MA in Communications, Culture & Technology from Georgetown University.
He’s also a published short fiction writer, with a short story published in Bewildering Stories. Daniel also loves painting, hiking, and seeing live music. He lives in Nantes, France with his family.