Tag Archives: balance

That Whole “Balance” Thing

5136926303_a3d0bb0767

Here we go again.

I haven’t written anything in a few days. Scratch that, it might be approaching two weeks at this point. Two weeks without fiction or journalling. Two weeks of barely even maintaining my planner. Two weeks may not seem like much, but two whole weeks without creating anything is like drowning. Not only does it feel awful, but with every day that slips by it gets harder and harder to get started again.

It’s not even a block, not really. It’s… an absence. Whole days pass without even the inkling to pick up a pen or to open a text program.

Bizarrely, I’ve been super productive lately in other areas. I’ve been baking up a storm, knitting a very secret Christmas gift, deep cleaning and streamlining the house. But the more I seem to get done in my day-to-day life, the more it seems my career is suffering. It’s completely unacceptable.

I’ve decided that enough is enough. One whole year of my five-year career plan has slipped by, and I’m not where I thought I would be. I’m not where I need to be. But today starts a new month. I’m considering December a practice run before the new year kicks in.

In four years I don’t want to look back and realize I let myself down.

This is it.

(photo by Colin Harris)


Just Say No.

(via Ravelry)


A Morning Person? Me??

Hah, bet that got your attention.

Seriously, though, I’m still trying to get into some sort of steady writing routine. My work schedule is kind of all over the place, so it’s been hard with this job to find a constant. I was finding that I’d come home from a long day at DayJob, and sit in front of the internet until it was time for bed. I’d write, sure, but I wasn’t getting either the quality or the volume I wanted.

I’ve always enjoyed staying up late, and I’ve always slept in. I decided to get up earlier and knock out a couple hours’ writing every morning before work. I used to think I could only be creative at night, but looking back that was a flawed assumption. Of course it seemed like I could only do stuff at night; I was sleeping in until the last possible moment before work.

I decided on this new morning plan a couple of weeks ago. Today was the first day it went according to plan.

The results? I grabbed a coffee and some breakfast, chowed while I caught up on time-wasters, and by the time I had finished breakfast I was ready to go.

I met my word-count goal for the entire day within an hour of waking.

Not only that, but already having accomplished my self-imposed goal for the day put me in a much better headspace for DayJob. I felt great.

My God, I think I’m becoming one of…those people.


Writer’s Clog

I’ve been sitting here for hours, trying to write.

It’s not that I don’t have ideas. It’s that I have too many. I have a growing list of ideas that I’ve been toting around, and frankly I’m in love with them all. I have characters and plots climbing all over each other in my brain, and it’s like I’ve gone into creative overload and just shut down.

I can’t seem to focus on one single idea, so my brain has decided to strike and not create anything.

I’ve been staring at a blank screen since dinnertime, and all I’ve managed so far is six open tabs with snippets of six different stories.

The popular notion of writer’s block is that the writer is blank, unable to come up with anything to write. So what is it called when you have so many competing ideas that they get jammed on their way to your fingers? Writer’s clog?

I know, I should be thankful for the ideas I have. I am. But in its own way, writer’s clog is just as frustrating as writer’s block. I want to do everything, but instead I’m producing nothing.

Ever had this happen?


It’s Spring! Writers, Get Organized

Spring always makes me feel fantastic. It’s not the frigid Canadian winter anymore (though I hate that less since I learned how to knit), and it’s not yet the scorching, disgusting summer when I turn into a walking freckle. Spring is when it feels like everything’s waking up again. It’s a great time to start new things, and with that in mind…

I started organizing. (If you know me well, I’m sorry I didn’t warn you to swallow your beverage before you read that.)

I’ve never been a consistent enough writer to need to keep track of things. I’d spit out a piece here and there, and there’d be huge gaps of nothingness in between. I don’t know how I lived for any real length of time without writing, but there you have it.

But now, see, I have plans. I have goals. I’m producing more and more all the time, and I started to realize a few things I need to keep track of. So I treated myself to an office-supplies fix shopping trip and set up shop, properly.

Now I have lists of character names, which stories they were in, dates of publication, sales information, outlines for future stories, a calendar…I actually feel like for once I know exactly where I’m headed with this writing thing, and how and when I want to get there.

I’m still feeling my way through this whole actually-staying-on-top-of-things thing, but it’s coming together.

What tips can you share on keeping your creative life organized?


Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Photo via Happy Housewives Club, which is a FANTASTIC site, btw.

I have always struggled with organization, and frankly, if don’t make a list, I will be sorting baby pictures or writing out greeting cards in three minutes flat. I’ve always been envious of people who run their homes with military efficiency. You know the people I am talking about; those folk who aren’t afraid of their closets and actually know what is in every drawer. Show-offs :P.

Yet, I have to say that just because something is our nature doesn’t mean that we are to be a victim to our innate shortcomings. In fact, Bob Mayer gave a really interesting exercise in his Warrior Writer Workshop. He said to look at your Myers-Briggs personality…then look at the opposite of your personality, and likely that is the area you need the most work. I am going to take it…

View original 1,510 more words


A Story-Shaped Trap

This novel is still coming along nicely. It’s exciting, because normally by now I’ve fallen out of love with a story I hate the story’s guts, and I’m angry at each individual letter on the screen for conspiring against me to form words that suck.

Anyway.

I’m still so new to this whole actually-completing-work phase of my fledgling career that it’s hard to know how to pace myself. As we’ve seen in—ahem—other areas of my life, I tend to run myself ragged, trying to do more, and eventually I burn myself out.

So I’m trying to develop a writing plan, as in x number of hours per day or x number of words. To pace myself and actually know when to knock it off, already. But there’s some small part of me that thinks if I don’t WRITE THIS WHOLE THING RIGHT NOW OMG it will stop being exciting, and I’ll dump it like I did its predecessors. I keep getting little mental flashes of really neat scenes, and I feel like I need to capture everything now, for fear it won’t be as good later.

So my question is this: how do you strike a balance?


I’m Not Going to Stop Writing. Period.

‘All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?’
-Philip Pullman

I had a bad day today. A nasty, wrenching, frustrating day where all I could think about was getting home and hiding from the world. It was the type of day where the kindest words actually hurt you further, because you’re so far gone by then that you’ve forgotten momentarily about kindness and it startles you to hear.

It was, in short, pretty fucking shitty.

And what did I do? I came home and instead of banging out some words and finishing the story I’m working on, I sat like a mopey lump and did nothing. When I finally came to the story, the cursor sat there flashing at me and taunting me for having nothing to say.

I was going to shut the laptop and go sleep it off.

But if I’m ever going to get anywhere with this writing thing, I can’t let stupid garbage distract me. This is what I have, what I’m good at, and I can’t afford to let it slip out of my control.

So: a pledge. I’ll have the damned thing finished and available for public consumption, in one form or another, by midnight EST tomorrow (Friday December 16th). It’s got guts and gore, all that good stuff (though I won’t say whose).

After all, you can’t take writing from me.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,184 other followers

%d bloggers like this: