When I think of my most productive time in terms of creative effort it is slightly contradictory. I produced most but yet produced nothing for publication. In a way it was writing in its purest form, to figure out the world and my place in it.
The overriding value in my life was, appropriately enough given the week that’s in it, love.
I was newly married. I was exploring the culture I’d married into. I was learning a new language. I was finding my way around a new town in an area of fascinating history. I had a routine with few responsibilities. What was not to love?
The last few years I have not been so productive my writing. The love has thankfully not changed (you could say we doubled it by doubling our numbers). In terms of time I still have plenty. What has changed is the amount of headspace I give to my responsibilities.
I take things seriously, in many cases too much so. I tend to sit down to write with a proviso in place; I only have x amount of time before I need to do y. This is not conducive to productivity.
Instead I need to retrain myself. I need to say I have x amount of time to write. And I should write with the same love I had all those years ago, before I knew anything about how you should write but when I knew everything about writing from the heart.