The subject of how others view you came up the other day. The word someone said about me was "industrious." After I said, "Huh?" she explained that I'm always in the thick of it, writing, submitting, working.
My reply was something along the lines of, "My God, it feels like I'm a scattered mess inside most of the time." I make lists of projects and ideas on slips of paper or spreadsheets just to get them out of my head to keep the mental clutter down. I also have a horrible memory ever since my daughter was born, so writing things down is crucial to juggling multiple projects and plots.
Then it occurred to me that my friend sees the whole, fully formed tornado of me during times when I feel like the wind, tossing tree limbs around and riping roofs off houses in random order. I have learned, however, that as a creative person you have to desire to be the wind and here's why:
The wind is the ultimate writer. The wind can plow forward through towns and states without regard for borders and none of it is an obstacle. When you're the wind, you toss aside cars, knock over billboards, alter the way other people see the world, but other than gray and flying soil, to you it's all a mess. Despite how organized you try to be, there are times when you are a mess of a storm, and the quantity of stories and chapters you can create are unlimited.
The good news is that while you're caught up in air pressure and cold breezes are blowing your workspace to bits, hail pelting your desk, everyone else is stepping back and finally seeing the tornado.
Many writers aren't taken seriously by their family and friends. They don't see you working or researching, mostly because these things must be done alone, and when they ask how it's going, you say, "Good" because you know they wouldn't understand. A visible storm of writing, however, to the point someone says you're industrious, tells you it's being noticed.
Writing like a storm means you have an impact.
You have an impact even if your writing life feels like a mess. It's strewn everywhere, it clobbers your thoughts when you're "not working,"and the new ideas don't stop forming just because your mental space for projects and stories is exceeding full.
It feels like a mess because when you are the wind you can't see the tornado. You are incapable of seeing the full scope of your energies and this is probably a good thing. If we had that sliver of time to take a look for ourselves, we might become awestruck, dumbfounded, and frozen in place and not know exactly how to run back into a spiralling funnel which can just as easily suck you up as spit you out.
It's better to be the extreme force than the byproduct and as writers or artists or any kind of creator, a tornado of productivity and heart is a much more powerful tool for carving our names on this world.
Do you desire to be the wind? Have you been the storm? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.