The balance between real-life and writing.

Blah! Party logo

Blah! Party logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been less than perfect in my day job this week and simultaneously stifled and unable to write in any downtime. Not that there’s been a lot of that….. I’ve clocked up sixty hours this week. – I am not going to throw a pity party about it, that was yesterdays post!

So how do you manage the demands on your time when you are struggling to finish your novel and trying to hold down an intense job that pays the mortgage?

It’s tough and it’s not a subject that gets covered in a positive way by a lot of the advice blogs you read. I think the usual general gist of it is to –¬† suck it up…. It’s just the journey of being a writer – Blah, Blah.

I’ve seen strategies and spreadsheets. Advice that tells you to get up half an hour earlier. To try harder because you are obviously not utilising your time properly.

Helpful eh?

I think you need to show balance and when you find yourself short on time, focus on the things that count. Sometimes there is stuff more important than writing or building a platform or engaging in social media or anything like that.

How long have you had this dream for? If you are anything like me, it is decades now. Is it going anywhere? – Nope, it’s here to stay. So don’t sweat it and don’t give the inner demons a chance to wheedle their way in. Because once they start they won’t stop and if you let them get a horn in the door of your mind they’re likely to convince you to quit…. AGAIN.

So cut YOURSELF some slack, you are not procrastinating, hey it would be lovely to have the time to procrastinate.

There are probably people in your life and they deserve your love and undivided attention, too. That Novel is not gonna let you warm your feet on them on a cold winters night and they deserve better. They know it’s important to you, they put up with being a writers widow/er so give them some valuable time.

You will come back to the writing, tomorrow or the next day because you gave yourself some room to let it settle. You placed things in the right order of importance. You cut yourself some slack.

It’s only when we force it that the inner demons get into their stride or we end up thinking about what has to give… Something always has too eventually. So stop beating yourself up about it and go hug a husband or spouse or family member or even a little person.

Comments, as always, welcome.

Is technology, the death of original thought?

Coffee cup

Coffee cup (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Whilst everyone else is looking for some Irish roots to drag out into the sunlight, I’d like to talk about something completely different. I was in Costa (a coffee-house) with my husband at lunchtime today and I noticed that everyone was doing something… Most, were doing it on laptops, smartphones and tablets.

There were still the Sunday Paper readers, myself and the husband included. I noticed that all the other readers had smartphones within arms reach and the occasional “bzz bzz” would stop them reading and look at the screen instead.

Are we now all so connected (yet distant) that we are incapable of doing something as simple as having a cup of coffee with a friend or lover without having some form of communication or web connected device within a hairs breadth?

“I am also aware of the irony of writing this on a Wi-Fi connected Netbook from my writing couch.”

As if to illustrate my point even further, the group next to us were talking about their favorite hotels on holiday. I was very discouraged to hear that one of their criteria was the strength and quality of the Wi-Fi. I could understand if they had talked about business hotels but holiday destinations? I can think of nothing worse.

Technology enables us to connect in many ways and has been a positive influence on our lives, making things easier and faster. Technology can make you far more productive. It can also suck the time out of your day like a depressurization at 37,000 feet

I am as guilty as the next person of spending far more time on social media networks and playing stupid games than actually writing ( I also read today that procrastination is good for you. Yay!). But my coffee shop outing really got me thinking about how we receive our news and information and just how much gets re-packaged a thousand times, getting further and further away from someone’s original thought.

Are we all so plugged into content that we’ve stopped creating our own? Do we now rely so heavily on the news feed that we’ve stopped being able to work things out for ourselves and think things through? Do we now just ask Google?

What do you think?