We writers often spend much of our time in the “imagined world”. We walk along the streets of cities our brains created. We hike in forests filled with unicorns and pixies. We fly in spaceships to distant planets and make new lives. And yet…as important as it is that we live in the places we, ourselves, create…it is equally important to live in the real world. It can be hard, though. Real life can sometimes be grim, hard, and frightening. I think that’s partly why books, movies, and TV shows are so attractive to people. It is pleasant at times to escape the difficulties of life and “go to a better place”.

Last week was a particularly challenging one for me, emotionally. Several small things quickly grew big when they were combined into a “perfect storm” of emotional turmoil. That’s just how it happens sometimes. Life can be wonderful. You might be happy as can be…and then, a small blip on the radar can shatter your calm and steal your peace. When this happens several times in one week or one day, living from moment to moment becomes the norm and it can be extremely challenging to reclaim your center and balance.

I could have chosen to totally escape and unplug. I could have shut down and been lazy the whole week and just sojourned in books, movies, or busyness. But I didn’t. I decided to feel my emotions fully and give them credence. I listened to myself and to why I grew upset over small things. I didn’t run and hide from real life, though I could have.

Sometimes, you need to step away from work. From your responsibilities. From your social life. Just be. Sit in quiet. Go for a hike. Listen to calming music. Take a day for yourself and journal or clean your home. Mental health days are just as important for your well-being as productive work days and social commitments. If we, as writers, are to live in and be edified by the real world, we must truly give attention to our holistic needs. We must nurture our emotions, mental state, and physical health.

Today, I’m taking things slow. My heart and my head need some time to come back to center. Back to balance. I’m still working today. After all, you can’t always take a whole day to balance yourself. However, I’m taking plenty of time to slowly move through my tasks. There is no hurry today. There is no need to rush myself.

Living in the real world takes just as much skill and dedication as it does to create a world from which to write novels and stories. We must never forget that it is the real world that gives us our inspiration to write stories. We must honor it and we must strive to be balanced within it, even when it challenges us and when it brings hardship. There is learning in everything and there can be joy in so much.

So, today, let us live in the real world and be kinder to ourselves. Take some time for yourself to sit in silence and meditate. Build the strength of your body by taking it out for a walk or participating in a physical activity that you enjoy. Feed yourself the good food that you need. Let your mind rest by observing the natural world. Use this time to shore up your being and to prepare yourself for a fabulous week.

Happy Monday

Learning to Live in the Real World
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  • Good point L.M.

  • If I could like this post x1000, I would. I totally get it!

    The novel I’m writing (which at my snail’s pace, will be out in 2025) was inspired by the time I tried to get a refund for a video camera I bought. It was the most rage-filled days of my life lol

    But as I look back, I think to myself, “Wow, I’d like to thank those ass hat douches because they’ve inspired me to write the greatest novel in the history of the universe!”

    Ok, now I’m off to ride my bike and relax. 🙂

    • Awww, thanks, Tuan! Yeah, it is definitely true that the real world provides ample inspiration for most stories and I think we miss out on a lot of opportunities for writing when we’re constantly trying to make everything up. Enjoy your bike ride!

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