Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Building a writing life

Surprise! An extra post this week! That might start happening here. As I'm focusing more on really making my writing a priority, I may use this space for rambling, babbling essays on exactly what I want to be doing and how it might happen. Sort of like this one...

I'm wondering if it would be a good habit for me to stop someplace once or twice a week after work to do some writing before I go home. Or go home to feed Caisha and go back out? I'm not sure which way would work best. Probably stopping directly after work, but I feel bad for Caisha because she's a punctual kitty who likes her meals and things at the same times each day. I guess I could put extra food in her dish and turn the TV on for her on those days...

Right now, this week, coming off the momentum from the Willamette Writers' Conference, I have been going home and working on things. Can I continue? I have been working in the bedroom because it's too hot up in my study, but I am doing it (it being mainly planning and organizing and a bit of freewriting). I suppose in good weather I could just start building the habit of going upstairs right after I get home--feed the cat, get a drink, head upstairs and work. And the stopping at a coffee shop or someplace could be a contingency plan for excessively hot weather when I've planned to write, but I know that it will be unbearably hot upstairs.

I have also decided to not take on the big SCA rapier event I had been talking with people about. I know it would be a great event. I know lots of people want to see it happen. I know I do not actually want to do it. I do not actually want to give my time and attention to it. I want my time and attention to go to my writing. I want the SCA to be mostly something I do on some weekends throughout the year and one Tuesday night each month. That's what will work for me. I just have to let everyone know that I plan to really step back from the things I've been doing. I may need to consider handing the Embellishers' Guild off to someone else if I can find someone who had the time and enthusiasm to do something with it... Ah. I feel the stirrings of excitement as I'm writing this part. This is the right thing to do, stepping back from the SCA stuff.

So what things will stay in my life? TV shows. I generally video tape shows and watch them when it's convenient. Other shows I have on for background noise while I do whatever I'm doing including writing. It's always been like that for me. I focus better when I have something in the background taking some of the front brain attention off what I'm working on (there's a term for this, but I don't remember it). It's a bit like the way you get really good ideas and insights while you're driving. The front of your brain is focused on driving which frees the imagination and lets it get wild and really creative. For me, having the TV on while I write or do other creative things does the same thing. So TV stays since it doesn't actually keep me from writing or doing things I want to do.

So what needs to go? A lot of my internet time. I am using the internet to anesthetize my brain, dull my emotions...That needs to stop. But I still need to do my e-mail, keep up my blogs (hoping to build a readership!)...So how do I limit my time, make sure I'm actually doing useful things and not just zoning out? I'm not completely sure. Last week, my beloved told me about how he uses Outlook at work to remind him to go to lunch, go on break, get ready for meetings...I had never used Outlook, so I had no idea it would pop reminders up on my computer screen! I'm loving this. I have been slowly trying it out this week, and I'm finding it useful. I have been setting reminders for blog writing and checking e-mail, and when it's not the scheduled time for those, I've been stepping away from the computer unless I have something else scheduled that needs computer time. I am thinking of programming Outlook to periodically give me a reminder that just says "What are you doing right now?" or something like that. Something to make me check in with myself and find out if I'm actually doing something I want to be doing or if I'm just wasting time.

And now, it's not actually computer time. It's not even the day for this blog, but that's okay because this is helping me make things the way I want them to be. But I'm still getting away from this box now...

2 comments:

Michele said...

Maureen McQuerry will be participating in a blog tour in September. Please let me know if you would be interested in interviewing her on your blog.

Kim Switzer said...

Hi Michele,

I would love to interview Maureen McQuerry in my blog. What do I need to do? (I can be reached via e-mail at kimswitzer [at] mythicwriters.org if that is more convenient.)

Related Posts with Thumbnails