Recently I got a very interesting and prestigious gig writing the copy for an interactive touch table at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. Being a political junkie, I was pretty excited about immersing myself in all the wonky glory of LBJ’s Great Society. But the tediousness of spending three solid weeks researching the twenty-three different pieces of legislation in the exhibit, combined with the challenge of writing over fifty 400-word summaries, proved far less enjoyable then I had hoped.
Then the moment it was over, I immediately spent twelve hours researching my own original story, and wouldn’t you know it, the time went by like it was twelve seconds. Instead of adding to my fatigue, doing my own research actually re-energized me.
We all have to feed our families, but as writers we have to feed our souls too. With all the craziness of everyday life it’s easy to lose touch with this. We became writers to express ourselves, to give birth to our own stories and offer them the world. Without this excitement in our lives, without the promise of the next great idea bouncing around in the back of our heads, we die a little inside.
Never lose that fire, no matter how much other work you have on your plate, whether its writing work or not. Find the time to explore your own ideas. Find the time to write them. You’d be surprised how much energy they will give you, even if you only get to spend a few minutes with them each day.