To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born and a time to die; a time to write and a time to refrain from writing…
I made up that last phrase but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. I’m not an advocate of the modern view of a life-work balance. They are not separate entities co-existing on some theoretical plane that divides body and soul. They are two arms belonging to a single spirit. Granted, sometimes my right doesn’t know what my left is doing, but it goes along for the ride just the same.
People are designed with work in mind. Adam was placed in the Garden to dress and keep it. At the time, work was not synonymous with labor. Work in the Garden was an exercise through which mankind was to learn to create goodness and beauty. That it went wrong, (in truth it went as foreseen) was because while we were meant to create, we were given a free, independent will and a free hand.
Under similar conditions, give a child a set of magic markers and chances are good you’ll soon have artwork on the walls. Well, we are creative beings. Life produces something, and in that sense, life is work. Ask me why I write and I will tell you that you might as well ask me why I breathe. It is an essential life function.
I have said in earlier posts on this blog that writing is work. I still maintain that is true. However, for me, it is not labor. Ask me to keep the company books, and you’re asking me to do serious labor. Fortunately, God has also created people who like numbers, precision, and order.
The first lesson in writing—write what you know—is founded on the premise that writing is work. To write you must have experiences that you can turn into words. So, leave the keyboard behind now and then and go experience life. Go ziplining or skydiving. Walk through giant redwoods or stroll along the beach at sunset. It’s not neglecting your writing, it’s research.