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Timing Is Everything

 

For some time now I’ve been ignoring the fact that my writing time shrank each day a bit further. It wasn’t necessarily due to trips away from the home office. It wasn’t due to unexpected visits from friends, solicitors or the occasional lost soul.

The ravenous devourer of my writing time was, in truth, me and my endless curiosity about who was doing what and how that was working for them. Yes, my friends, I was playing the social networking card a wee bit too frequently. There are so many blogs, so many sites, just so many of everything. I had become a junkie of information on a personal level. I had neglected to realize just how addicted I could become.

Oh, don’t pat me on the back and say, “There, there now, it’ll be alright.” It won’t be alright. Not ever

I deliberately don’t play the games on FB for that very reason. They are addictive and swallow time like a thirsty camel sucks up water every chance they get. I wasn’t going to allow that to happen to me.

Instead, I just had to find out what Laura was doing with her new poetry, or what Donna had on her website about those friends of mine with new books. I just had to do that, didn’t I. In order for me to stay current, I had to find to out, didn’t I?

That’s what I thought. Then I realized just how far I’d fallen off that writing wagon into a sea socializing. When I came to the epiphany that I hadn’t written one creative word in three days, I nearly bawled. I mean, REALLY! How could I have come to this juncture?

That’s when I made a pledge to myself. I would not allow this distance to grow between me and my creative expression. I’d been so concerned about others’ words that I hadn’t even taken the time or thought to do this blog, much less work a story I’d started a week ago. I’d been neglecting my critique groups, all three of them. I hadn’t been writing down those marvelous story ideas that were such blazing torches in my mind just hours before. I was (sigh) a junkie who needed, more than anything else, a step program for info collectors and abusers.

There comes a time when each writer must choose. To write and express those ideas foremost in his/her mind or to watch others do that activity. He/she must choose whether to work with those closest and dearest in the writing circle or to flutter on butterfly wings among the many colorful netted flowers which give off the sweet scent of imagination and creativity.

I have chosen to do both, but with limits.

I will allow myself two social networking sites per day for half an hour each. I will allow one hour for the ICL site or forum each evening. I will allow this blog and two others to take up another hour per day. I will do e-mails for 2 hrs. per day only, and the rest of the time will be dedicated to writing. That includes marketing research, material research, submissions, and actual writing. 

Maybe now I can have my cake and eat it too. Maybe I can keep to this schedule to help eliminate so much of the addictive behavior. I certainly hope so.

I know that others have found themselves in this same predicament. Take heart. There is a way out. It does, however, require dedication and discipline as I’m already realizing today. This is the first day of my journey back to creative muscle flexing.

For those others who must travel this road to recovery, I shall wave from the road ahead to urge you on and remind you that you are not alone.

Travel well, my friends. Travel well.

Claudsy

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Categories: Writing and Poetry
  1. October 9, 2009 at 12:33 am

    Hi Clauds,

    My writer friend extraordinaire… You never fell off the wagon… You were just riding while looking over your shoulders and now you are looking ahead and are focused. Remember, it takes about 7 weeks to “fully program” in a new routine. I read that somewhere.

    So, Professor Clauds, if you have any office hours…. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Meena

    • claudsy
      October 9, 2009 at 9:19 am

      Meena,

      Which class did you have in mind that you needed to schedule an appt.? I have an hour free sometime next month after the 4th, if that will do. Check your calendar and let me know. Good studying, my little friend.

      Claudsy

  2. October 9, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Hi there good lady,

    You sounded depressed in this entry, although I know exactly what you mean. I was in your predicament too a little while ago. But now I make sure that I write first and foremost and do all the other things later.

    My first goal, when I’m not teaching, is to wake up, grab a cup of coffee and head straight to my office and do two to three hours of writing. Then I answer emails in the afternoon and do some reading followed by another two to three hours of writing in the afternoon. The evening is usually devoted for attending online workshops, networking, and meeting with my writing friends. I devote Fridays to doing critiques for all of my groups. That is the way most of days are divided, unless I have a change of plans.

    I know how hard it is to work this way. But I have now gotten to the point where I have to work this way to feel productive. Did I reach the other end of the spectrum? I hope not. But I do know that writers have to write. And that is what I plan to do each and every day.

    So, my suggestion to all writers is to keep writing regardless of how you feel in the morning and don’t interrupt your writing schedule unless it is an emergency.

    Sunny

    • claudsy
      October 9, 2009 at 9:16 am

      Sunny,

      I don’t think I was depressed so much as frustrated with myself for having come to that state. Well, that and knowing that I hadn’t realized how bad it had become. It actually became worse afterward when I looked at how much original stuff I’d started since the beginning of September. Almost nil.

      I know I wanted to clear the decks for new stuff, but I hadn’t done that, either. So that’s my goal for this coming week. I’m determined to get all of this out of the way and move on to something more productive and meaningful.

      Thanks for the commiseration. Take care and God bless.

      Claudsy

  3. October 9, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Clauds, I definately agree with your post! We all have different schedules and times to fit in our writing. I think you’re just very aware of the difference between learned knowledge and activity knowledge. Because my son’s schedule requires so much flexibility on my part, I thrive on a certain amount of structure each day. As creative types we don’t usually have a “boss” who sets the tone of the day for us. So it’s up to us to find the motivation to set our own success schedule. I appreciate reading the other entries here. Good ideas & inspoiration to be found in our everday lives. I hadn’t heard the thing about 7 weeks to fully program a new routine, but I’ll certainly keep it in mind if I get discouraged. Hope you have a blessed weekend!
    Kathie

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