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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Bringing Order to Chaos

Summer

Hello, it's me again. I know, its been a while, and I'm sorry about that. So what happened? Truthfully, I went on holiday back at the end of June, had a lovely relaxing break, and just couldn't get going again. I've struggled with a lot of other things too, apart from the blog.

Writing still figured high up on my priority list, and over the last few months, I've been doing different stuff. Shorter fiction, which has suited not only my mood, but also the bursts of time I've had available. I wasn't writing daily, and sometimes I missed two or three days. Consequently, not very much got done beyond my shorter pieces of flash fiction and a few short stories.  I did think about things though, because I needed to make sense of what was stopping me.

Trying to fit in a career, family, staying healthy and writing is tough on a good day, and I'm sure some reading this post will know what I mean. Even a couple of things going awry in a busy person's day can be nightmarish. When the to-do list has no end, and we allow busyness to rule us, life feels chaotic! I don't feel guilty for pressing the pause button.

I'm not a full-time writer, and I need to keep in mind that it isn't the thing I do to earn my living. Most writers do not make a living out of writing.  To be a writer you have to write. To be a good writer, you have to write a lot. Okay, I know I'm a writer, I DO write, just not as much and as often as those who choose to make a full-time career out of it. I'm working at getting better, and I know it could be many years before I see any success the way I'm approaching it, but that's okay. I'm going to accept that for now, I'll do what I can, whilst remaining mindful that I'm not in some race, and my livelihood doesn't depend on my writing.

Recently, I've got back on track, on average I'm writing six out of seven days. My target is to do fifteen minutes before the day gets going properly, but it's usually thirty minutes before I stop. At weekends, I do more. My new regime is working for now, I'm moving forward, and have some work, life balance now. Where as before, I felt out of control, and angry that I couldn't devote more time to writing.

Very few of us take enough time out to relax. Yet it's so important to take a break now and again. Try it, if you don't already do it. It's rejuvenating, and need not be months, or even weeks. Just twenty minutes spent sitting quietly will bring a little order to chaos.

I'm back now, and intend to update the blog regularly. Let me know what you've been up to?


20 comments:

  1. Your new writing routine sounds as if it suits you very well. My writing has taken a back seat for the last month and I won't be getting back into it properly again until the second week of September. I feel quite naughty :-) xx

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    1. But you have a restart date Teresa so why worry? Enjoy the break if you can... :-)

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  2. Sometimes not writing is important, the chance to take a step back. You know you're a writer when you can't stay away from it - you accidentally find yourself with a pen in your hand scribbling ideas down.

    I'm writing a few shorts myself, while waiting for my editor to read my latest book and give the thumbs up or down - it keeps me from checking my email every 5 minutes, even though I know she won't be reading it until the end of the month :-/

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  3. This is a refreshing post. Like you I write part-time and like us all, have many other demands on my time (nice and not so nice). I get fed up with those who constantly urge writers to write everyday no matter what - and there are more than a few around who do just that. Time to relax is important. No one else is urged to work every single day, why should a writer?

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    1. Time away from the laptop is also thinking time which can be invaluable.

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  4. I identify with all of that Maria.

    Personally I think the demands on everyone have increased so free time can easily get eaten into, and of course it can make a big dent in how much writing you get done.

    It's good that you're writing when you can, and I'm sure you'll get back to the lengthier work soon.x

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    1. I'm glad you've mentioned the demands put upon people these days Carol. There are definitely more than ever before in every industry. Writing is no exception. not too many years ago, it was unheard of to do your own promotion.

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  5. Welcome back. You're so right about writers and earnings. My income is a mix of editorial work and yoga teaching (as you know); I tend to treat the more creative stuff as a hobby that occasionally brings in a bit of money. I still take it seriously, but I try not to beat myself up if I don't make my self-imposed deadlines.

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    1. Good plan Julia, lots of writers I know have a day job, or they are full-time writers who teach writing. I hate to use the word hobby, when talking about my writing, it makes me cringe, and I imagine you are similar.

      We call it a hobby but it's more of a devotion.

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  6. Hey Maria. Think of it as a summer holiday! For me, its all about balance, and you are right, it can be tough to maintain. We can only keep trying!

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    1. Stuart, you are right. and I think next year I am going to declare July and August as holiday.

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  7. What a fantastic post Maria, you have put what I feel a lot of the time into words. It can be overwhelming sometimes can't it. But you are very inspirational, and it is encouraging that you manage to find time almost every day for writing. I need to follow your example I think! I'd like to try fiction writing, I have some ideas. Just need to apply bum to seat. I've not written much at all during the school summer hols. Have very high hopes for September! CJ xx

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    1. Hey CJ, thank you for your kind words.
      Definitely do it, pick up the pen and start. Just a few lines will create the spark to get you going.
      If you don't know what you're going to write why not try a short writing exercise. A random word will do...
      P.S. I use the timer on my phone, I set it for fifteen minutes at a time.

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  8. It can be depressing and frustrating when self imposed targets are not met. Your new routine sounds spot on Maria and is working for you already. I decided to return to my blog today and keep to weekly posts from now on, which will run alongside my regular chapter editing. Once the latter is finished and the manuscript finally submitted, I'll feel much better about things.

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    1. Hello Keith, it looks like you are making a return too. Good to hear, I'll be over to check out what's happening soon.

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  9. We all need a break every now and then, Maria. Good for you getting back into some kind of routine.

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  10. Like Teresa, I've taken time out this summer to spend time with the grandchildren. And do you know what? I haven't felt guilty at all. My writing output is always changing and I'm learning to go with the flow.

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    1. What a good positive attitude you have Wendy. Not only that, but time spent with grandchildren, or any family member is precious.

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!