I was determined to make writing time for myself this year and so far I’m getting it, but WOW…
I’m doing mental somersaults trying to keep up with everything. In the background of my book writing, the publishing industry keeps erupting in jaw dropping changes. I find myself wondering how many more publishers will close. How many more authors I know will just stop writing?
There’s a lot on my mind these days and not all of it business decisions. I’ve been worried about authors who are suddenly falling ill. I wonder if the press and rush and craziness got to them.
This is year seven of my publishing career. As I look for a healthy balance to keep moving forward, I’m limiting priorities and making more time for myself. My focus is going to be on writing, but I’m slower this time of year. If I were a shifter, I would definitely be a bear so I could hibernate.
My inclination is to be butt in the chair all I can be and write until I’m empty, but my New Year’s promise to myself was to sit less and exercise more. Now when I take a phone call, I stand and make laps around my kitchen island while I talk. I look like a dork making those circles for a solid hour while I’m on the phone, but I’ve learned to flip off the smirking voice in my head making fun of my efforts.
Happy New Year! I hope yours is getting off to a good start.
I’m making some changes and decided it was time to get the word out to readers so these changes don’t come as too much of a shock. Here are the top three. I put the bad news first, just like I used to teach my students to do in business writing class.
Like most authors I know, I spend a great deal of time on social media connecting with my readers. Sometimes I give this effort more time than I do my writing. I don’t mean to do this. It just seems to happen. I could really relate to what Tristan Harris describes in the video. Checking a single Facebook post can turn into hours of time because while I’m there I figure I might as well catch up on all of it…
I have 1 Facebook Profile (family, readers, friends) and 2 Facebook Pages (one per genre of writing). I’m a member of several groups to which I contribute. I had two Facebook groups which I closed because I just couldn’t find time to keep them up.
I have 3 twitter accounts and am active on all of them. I pin to Pinterest boards, share my blog posts on Tumblr, and try my best to put fun pics up on Instagram about my “crazy after 50” career of writing and publishing. I share on Google+ and LinkedIn. I have 4 email accounts and get over 200 pieces of mail a day. I collect and maintain two email lists of subscribers.
Why do I do all this? I don’t want to miss anything. Not even when I know I should be focused solely on writing. So I totally get what this speaker is saying. I’m all for better technology.
My writing life is full of ups and downs. Some days I sit at the computer and stare at the next chapter heading and wonder where I’m going to find the words. These seem to be compounded by life events that interrupt my obsessive writing habits. Grandchild number 6 made his grand appearance last week. So did Spring. So did my seasonal allergies, which put me in bed and gave me some unexpected reading time.
I am a huge Elizabeth Gilbert fan. She wrote Eat. Pray. Love., but also many other books. I found her through the one that brought her into the spotlight, but I stayed a fan because I find the woman as inspiring as her work. Gilbert is a kindred writer soul in terms of honoring the creative process that keeps her writing.
I think my muse deliberately sends Gilbert’s books into my line of sight when he—yes my muse is a he—gets fed up with my bouts of writing lethargy. Before that, he’ll torture me with long hours of nothing but my shoulders bent over my keyboard with my fingers still until the screen goes black. I have to wait until he not
ices that my back is hurting and my butt has gone numb, and then he will sometimes finally send the story inspiration back to me. Or at least this is how it feels. He is more my dungeon master than my muse at times.
Most writers read a lot and I am a voracious reader. When I am not actively writing, my typical consumption is around 3 books a week with one usually being non-fiction of some sort. I pre-order books I want and when they arrive on my ereader, it’s like Christmas. I intend to just read a chapter to see what a book is like, but instead I read half the book before I can make myself stop.
Here is a TED talk Gilbert did about creativity and how hard it is to keep writing if you believe your best work is perhaps behind you. Nearly every book makes me feel like this, so I listened to it again today. I reminded myself, that like Gilbert, I am a mule. I know what my work is and I show up. But if you see my muse, will you put in a good word for me? There are couple of books that really need to get finished. Thanks.