Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

5/18/14

Balance

This past year has been filled with many, many school visits and lots of book events for me, and I'm truly grateful for each one. But doing all these events has come at the expense of working on new projects, spending time with friends, and even unpacking at my new town home.

Spending five days at the Anderson Center with the other Potatoes gave me a break in my busy spring schedule. One of the things I enjoyed most during our retreat was just taking time for some long walks along the Canon River. It reminded me of how much I miss spending time outside, and how good that is for my soul.

It's difficult for me to say "no" when asked to speak at a school or a library. It seems that everyone around me can juggle so many things (families, jobs, multiple book projects, dozens of speaking engagements); shouldn't I be able to do the same thing as well? Once again I'm learning not to judge myself by what others can do, and to respect the slow pace at which I work.

I promised myself not to agree to any new speaking events for this summer and to give myself time to be creative again. For the most part I'm following through on this promise. I had a taste of that leisurely pace today, when after a morning book event I allowed myself to attend a friend's art show, then go for a walk around one of the lakes in Minneapolis. This afternoon of leisure helped me relax a bit, and I came home with a new idea for a picture book. Whether that idea goes anywhere or not, I don't care, but it felt good to experience that spark of creativity. I hope a slower-paced summer will give me lots of those sparks, because those sparks make me happy.

7 comments:

Christy said...

David, I'm amazed at how many school visits and publication events you've mentioned this past year. It's wonderful that so many people want to connect with you and your work, but you surely need to claim time to refresh your creative spirit, work on developing projects, settle into your new home, and spend time with friends. You are wise to allow for that over the summer.

Just this last week I had too many activities planned outside of the studio and felt that same lack of balance you described.

Here's wishing us all the ability to occasionally say, "No, thank you," so we can guard the creative space.

Stephanie said...

Love that pic. You had a great spot there. And I've just started to allow myself to say "No." Thank you for this post.

Lauren said...

Learning how to say "No, thank you." is one of the most difficult things to learn, but once accepted into one's vocabulary can open up great self-compassion and creativity... not to mention, slow time to walk, visit, and unpack.

I love the photo David. I think you should print it out and put it on your bulletin board to inspire you this summer.

Congratulations on all of your books, events, and school visits. I am glad you are slowing down enough to write more wonderful stories for us to read!

Edie Hemingway said...

David, just seeing this photo of you relaxing on the porch at the Anderson Center house brought back that wonderful few days we all had together! It's hard to believe it's been nearly a month since we were there. Here's to balance, relaxation, and creativity for you (all the spuds) this summer!

Betsy Woods said...

David, that was "your" place. You look natural there. I'm fascinated and astounded how when we accept the process that creating demands -- time, space, breathe; the creation happens. Rather lovely, don't you think?

john said...

Love that picture, David. You look right at home.

mark said...

Keep finding the quiet time to recharge yourself and come up with new ideas, David. The world is a better place for the creations that have come from such times!