I really thought posting my intentions to write like crazy in the month of March would have motivated me to make some progress on Part 2 of No Eye Has Seen. But our family got hit with some major emotional tolls and I found the need to reflect and not pressure myself. I also have a huge project at work–an undertaking that equals a month of full-time hours I somehow need to fit in-between my normal full-time work schedule.
To summarize, my husband’s mother passed away on February 28 and my grandfather passed away on March 18. We have not experienced a death in either side of the family since 1999, and we were not prepared for the physical and emotional impact these losses would take on us. By March 24, my old fibromyalgia symptoms surfaced in a mild flare-up. I had to put aside every unnecessary task to rest.
However, on a positive note my mind seems to hold onto thoughts on the topic of writing more than I can recall in a long time. Perhaps the idea that life is short has nudged me to use my time wisely. Or maybe the fact that just a few days prior to my grandfather’s passing–I received an acceptance offer to traditionally publish No Eye Has Seen! (More on that in another post.)
Regardless of life happening all around me, my calling to write is more clear than ever before. Story ideas flood my mind daily, and when I can steal 5 minutes, I am picking up one of the 4 last issues of Writer’s Digest to steal a nugget of inspiration. Yes, I am running a household of 6 needing a mother, wife, cook, and taxi driver. Yes, my youngest child is currently being homeschooled due to health issues and requires a special diet to curb symptoms (see www.csidrecipes.com for more on this.) But writing must be a necessary element of my life despite it all. Writing is my source of expression, my therapy to sort through emotions and set backs. It allows me to take my real life experience and put it on the page in a way that others can relate to–but in the form of fiction, I have liberties to bring forth truths on emotional and spiritual levels that are more difficult in autobiographical form.
The other day I heard a blip from a video on choosing a healthy (unaltered by man) lifestyle (Paleo). The speaker–in argument for those who may say they don’t have time to eat right–said that a recent study concluded that when people tracked how they spent every hour in a week, there was on average 18 hours they couldn’t account for.
18 hours of time–wasted!
At first I’m thinking, that’s not me. My days are packed with one task after another and I could easily account for every minute. Then I started realizing how much time distractions take from my day. I wake up (well the alarm goes off anyway) at 4:45am. I have 2 cups of coffee, listen to a selection of Bible in a Year verses, delete junk email and maybe browse Facebook posts or read a couple of blog posts from my smart phone. It’s 6:15am by the time I hit the shower. Although this morning routine isn’t a bad thing, I could easily carve out 30 minutes to write in this time. That is just one example.
If I took a tally of every time I got side-tracked with a thought outside of my present task and considered every tally as 8 minutes time (the average time it takes to refocus once you are distracted or interrupted), I’m afraid of knowing how much time I really waste in a single day.
So with five minutes remaining before I have to head out the door to drop my oldest son off at high school and then head off to work, this post must end. I would love to hear about how you avoid distractions and self-induced interruptions to make time to write. I need some ideas aside from the obvious (like when I go to my phone for a specific reason, I find what I need and ignore the notification icons screaming for my time.)