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Staring at the Brick Wall

August 25, 2008 Leave a comment

brickwall-2  I have hit a brick wall.  I haven’t posted in two weeks…or has it been longer?  So I do apologize for being absent.  Unlike some writers, I’m not stuck for ideas.  Or ability.  Or skill level.  It’s just plain poor time management. 

In Victoria Schmidt’s book, a self help book for the miserably time challenged (Book In A Month), she identifies several self defeating thoughts.  The one that I identified most was “I feel like I have no control over my time and how I spend it; writing is always pushed to the wayside.”  I don’t blame anyone but myself.  

Here are some strategies that I am employing to see if I can get over the brick wall:

1.  I started blogging to see if just the act of writing daily would morph into writing more substantive material.  Result:  It turns out I like blogging, but as you can tell by the last two weeks, I haven’t had much time. Results:  Blogging keeps me sane and as focused as I’ve ever been. 
2.  I have been searching for a writing buddy.  I’m not thinking about writing collaboratively, just someone to talk about writing, critiquing each other’s works, and to keep me from sliding into the nonwriting abyss.  Results: The first three people whom I approached wanted to be a writing buddy, but time management got in their way.   A little disappointed, I figured it was  better to know early in the game than later…and if they have more time issues than I do, how was I to ever improve?  I have a new writing buddy.  I am ever hopeful that this will be the one that helps me push through my writing dormancy.
3.  I have set deadlines for small assignments.  Results:  These have come and gone…and another deadline for a short story at the end of this month looks like more of the same. 
4.  I have daily to-do lists.  I have started listing writing at the top of the list instead at the bottom as an afterthought.
5.  In my spare time, I am always reading.  Results:  I’m enjoying the reading.  Am I more a spectator when it comes to writing?
6.  I’ve mapped out every hour of my day to see where I could be amiss.  The last two weeks I was sidetracked by the Olympics and now the political conventions are full steam ahead.   Results: No excuses.  I shouldn’t have given television a priority over my time with the computer.  
7.  Part of my problem may lie in the fact that I am working in front of a computer 8 hours a day.  I try not to hop back on the computer right after dinner.  I get a little exercise and then write.  Results: Obviously, this area could use some improvement.  Is my job the large elephant in the room?  Would I be more productive, if the best energy hours of the day were open to personal writing?  Do I have to wait until retirement, because I’m too undisciplined to make any progress?
8.  I am trying to say “NO” to people, but I often slip up.  Results:  When I do say no, which cuts down the level of noise that runs through my head, I am able to sit and write and enjoy myself.

Anyone have any suggestions that I can employ?  Giving up my day job is not one of them. 

Btw, writing is a great cheap form of therapy.  Try it.  I understand that writing also aids good health.