Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Rapids...

Without structure, going with the flow would lead me to the rapids. Simply put, what I like best is to write. If I didn't have, you know, things like food to find and people to see, and if friends weren't urging me to take breaks, I'm not sure I'd do much else.

That's okay, right? But to support writing, other things are important (in addition to breaks and the gym): the blogosphere, industry research, email, Facebook, the business aspects of Our Spirit, the non-profit I founded. Everything is easier since I left my 9-5 job two years ago. But still, I find it a challenge to do the things that aren't writing. I like the thrill of writing. Am I a thrill junkie?

Last Friday I handed off 80 pages of my current WIP to a reader, hoping that I wouldn't write until I got feedback and that I'd do second priority things over the weekend... but Saturday all I did was write the next chapter.

Any thoughts on how to get things done that aren't writing?

(photo from www.tripadvisor.com)


  1. I was hoping you'd have all the answers for me! I struggle with this too. My three sons are still home for summer, and I want to soak up every minute with them. And yet, there are several writing tasks I need to accomplish. Balance...it's a tricky thing!

  2. It's interesting that I have had the opposite problem for the last several months.

    I turned a few of my blogs off. I love them, but they were only a distraction.

    I only visit Twitter and Facebook twice a day now, if that.

    I have taken a considerable step back from blogging. I am at four posts for the month, which is a huge change! I have one more post planned and you never know when an impromptu idea will hit.

    I am working toward a schedule. I like doing some things more than others, but if I want to write for my career (which I do) then I'd better start taking the idea more seriously. I may not be able to make myself write, but I can certainly discipline myself to accomplish writing related things. Of course, there's a large grey area there...

    Robert, are you happy? If so, then there's nothing wrong with where you are. If that means some things fall by the wayside, then so be it. You clearly have obligations to Our Spirit, so there's that to keep in mind, but other than that isn't everything you do just a part of your own career as a writer? Isn't everything relevant to that in a round about way?

    Maybe you should set aside a day to do things you don't enjoy as much. Like every Tuesday or something. See where that takes you.

  3. Robert,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I'm in the same boat as you. It's hard to sometimes do something not 'writing related'. I say go with the flow as long as the words are flowing.

  4. you're a junkie :)
    I'd like to take a ride on that ship or whatever it is in your picture :)

  5. I don't have a 9-5 job anymore as well. And yes, it is difficult to pull away from the writing and yes, it's so necessary too. We need inspiration!! I did a 'crazy' earlier in the year and joined a tiling course. lol. I'm so not a handy-woman. But it was fun and I met some interesting people who might end up in one of my books :)

  6. Oh it's so hard to let go when the writing bug has sunk it's teeth into you. I have this problem a lot! I have no good advice, because i need it!

  7. Robert,

    First of all, thanks for becoming a follower on my blog.

    I have a bit of a different problem. All the non-writing things in my life push their way in front of my writing time. I've got a few more months left on that 9-5 job plus assorted family commitments so my challenge is finding the time to write. Or not feeling guilty when I steal some.

  8. I too love the thrill of writing. It's good to be well-rounded so I try to take breaks every so often, but it always keeps me coming back :) Good luck with your projects!

  9. People and obligations, otherwise I wouldn't get much else done but live in my thoughts. Seems like you are on the right track with the people in your life.

  10. Except for my family, I feel like everything else is a distraction to writing. I am addicted. It could be worse, right? It could be drugs, alcohol, porn, right?

  11. Seems like you've found the right balance for when you don't want to write. Me? I look for every opportunity to write when I can. I even make it a point to write on my breaks at work now, revisiting the long-lost art of writing longhand. I think you'll easily find ways to not write if you keep yourself preoccupied.

  12. Thanks, everyone! Seems there are some fellow passengers on that funky in-the-rapids boat. And some good advice. I'm going to try Jon's suggestion of putting aside a day for the things I don't enjoy as much.

  13. I think we all get sucked into writing when we can. That's a good thing. I think. I want that right now. I'm with Jon--I'm having the opposite problem.

    But, I think that those tools for writing like blogs and the internet are only as good as the relationships behind them. Foster those relationships, and everything else will fall into place, and not seem like an obligation or chore. Balance is hard to find, whether you are getting sucked into your writing, or having an impossible time finding time to do so. It's good that you are searching for it. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to fit into a mold.