Out of My Mind...Patience on the Platform
Imagine standing on a platform waiting for a train with a group of anxious characters. You, too, have a story that needs to be told so you take a seat next to a teenage rebel. She’s planning something catastrophic. However, she thinks her crush may have what it takes to stop her. Across from you is a man who stares at a wall of photos of dead women all day. He feels he is getting close to the killer. A little girl is sitting next to him. She wants to know if her best friend will ever be found. There’s a diverse group of characters, and a few animals, in the room. You count how many are in front of you and wonder how long it will be before your name is called to walk through the white doors. No one knows how their conflict will be resolved because I haven’t finished their story. What’s the hold up? A common question we ask when we’re sitting in a waiting room for more than a minute.
The stories aren’t complete because life is the hold up. This past year, I have been a struggling artist. Struggling to get the plot, the setting, the characters out of my head and unto the blank pages of my computer screen. Now, more than ever, I am realizing how important it is to take care of myself mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I am learning the importance of spending time with others and on the opposite end of the spectrum spending time alone to recharge my energy. I’ve written schedule after schedule to include things like exercise time, prayer time, solo dates and hours upon hours devoted to writing. At one point I got so overwhelmed, I didn’t write at all. However, with the help of my therapist, I saw I was setting myself up for failure. When I told my therapist I was blocking off 4 hours a day for writing time she helped me see narrow it down to at least 30 minutes a day. It made sense to me and now my daily goal to at least 30 minutes. Since I narrowed my goal, I’ve been writing more. Nevertheless, I need my characters to have patience on the platform that is my mind. If I had to make an announcement to them, it would go something like this, “Attention passengers, I want you all to know, I have not forgotten about you because I never forget a character or a story idea. We are currently experiencing mechanical difficulties and hope to have the issue resolved soon. In the meantime, thank you for your patience.”