Ever since I started working in the Local History department at the library, I have had a whole new appreciation for the personal archive. So many things that we have in our collection are things that I would have thrown away or found too mundane to save, if I was living a hundred years ago. All the old receipts, income tax forms, random photos of buildings and other paper paraphernalia tell the story of our city. While processing these things at work, I’ve had a lot of time to think about the stuff that I’m saving and recording in my own life. I’ve been thinking about this for years, but it was brought to mind again this past Christmas when my grandfather gave me something from his personal archive.
One of the biggest challenges I face is just getting started. I’ll lay around all day, puttering with this and that, waiting until the absolute last minute to open up that Word document and start writing. But, once I finally sit down and spend ten minutes working on a piece, I usually get into the zone and focused. When I get into the work, it always seems so silly that it took me so long to get started. Even so, I know that I’ll still fall into the same procrastination routine time and time again.
Based on my conversations with other writers, I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with the procrastination beast, so I wanted to share a little trick that has been working for me lately.
Since the beginning of 2019, I’ve been in a period of change. Good changes, I would say. The hours of my second job slowed right down, since it’s the beginning of the fiscal year, so I’ve had lots of time for creative things. One of the reasons I started this blog was to let people into my often solitary creative life, so I wanted to share a little bit of a 2019-so-far life update. Continue reading “On What’s Been Changing Lately and Being an Entrepreneur of Creativity”
About three weeks ago two things were winding down: the second draft of my book and the year of 2018. I had hoped to have the draft done before Christmas, but as Dec. 25th drew closer and the stress mounted, I decided to push the goal back to New Year’s. Of course I got a little too comfortable with the extension and found myself racing to finish the draft before heading out to my New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 31st. I ended up being a little late to the party, but it was worth it. I really wanted to leave draft 2 of my novel in 2018, and I’m pleased to say that I was able to do that.
The beginning of December marks the end of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for many writers. For those of you who don’t know, writers participating in NaNoWriMo make the goal to write 50,000 words in a month (aprox. 1,666 words/day). I am definetly a goal-oriented person, so you can see how a challenge like this might appeal to me. However, I am rewriting my book, not writing a first draft like most people in the challenge, so the 50,000 word goal didn’t really make sense for me. Still wanting to join in on the comradery, I decided to challenge myself to simply work on my rewrites every day.
For a long time it felt like my paying jobs were always at odds with my writing. I felt as though the two parts of my life were always battling for my time and interest. Both were important and fulfilling to me, but seemed to be in opposition of each other. It often felt like my paid jobs were robbing my creative pursuits, but I was the one organizing the entire heist. The relationship between my jobs and my writing has always turbulent and a bit paradoxical, but over the last few weeks of working more hours than I ever intended, my creative frustration came to a breaking point and the writing slowed to a stop. The jobs weren’t going away and neither was my writing, so I knew that I needed to figure out how to balance these two parts of my life.
It’s been about five months since I committed to writing seriously, so I want to spend a little bit of time reflecting on those five months in this post. In particular, I want to take a look at my ongoing relationship with the concept of productivity and the guilt that goes along with it.
Some of the earliest and most prevailing advice I’ve heard about writing is to do with the importance of reading. Every class, every book, and every writer have had the same advice. It seems to be the one thing that all writers agree on: good writers are good readers. This week the importance of this advice dawned on me.
A few weeks ago I had my first, real experience with making a financial sacrifice for my writing. I couldn’t begin this post without acknowledging the many blessings that do I have (a job, somewhere to live, the ability to support myself, etc. etc.), but I want to spend some time taking about my experience with the financial side of figuring out what it means to be a writer. To begin, I don’t know if I can truly call this instance a sacrifice (I didn’t really give up anything tangible), but it did signal a sacrificial shift in how I think about the future of my writing. That reality check is what I want to get into today.
When I was planning my writing routine in the last few weeks before I graduated, I had some grandiose ideas about how I was going to structure my new-found writing time. One of those ideas was to work on two projects at once. I knew that I absolutely wanted to work on my novel-sized project–I had been chipping away at it for years– but I also wanted to work on some shorter-length projects at the same time.