Into the Quiet

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The last couple of years I’ve really struggled with balance in my life. Up until early this year the crazy workload & unbelievable stress levels in the daytime job threw everything out of whack and it felt like I was hold it all together just by the fingernails at times. And let me tell you, those nails were split, brittle and broken most of the time.

But this year, everything has slowly come back on to an more even keel. Not 100% better, but the improvements are clear: eating better, exercising more, spending time with friends (it’s so easy for everyone concerned to quote how busy/tired/stress they are and before you know it, months go by and you haven’t don’t more than forwarded a bunch of joke emails to peeps you care deeply about.)

One of area that still needs work is writing. It still feels like a struggle to find the time & mojo to write. I know part of it is simply habit and to make the time. But part of it is getting in tune again with *how* I write. All authors have their particular quirks—some need to outline, some need music, some need to dive head first into those first couple of chapters then stop and think and plan.

I think with all the craziness/stress I was dealing with, I forgot how I write under normal circumstances. I need to rediscover that. And one of the things I realized I needed to do was embrace the quiet.

Cutting back on the Twitter/Facebook/surfing seems like a no brainer, but it’s tricky. The current situation with publishing requires that an author have some sort of online profile, which would include interacting with others online also, not just throwing up a website. Also there’s a lot of valuable tidbits that break online, that could impact the career/writing choices an author makes.

But a lot of online is noise. It’s clutter that obscures your focus. It fills up the quiet spaces where the creative seeds would normally be nurtured. While I still post/respond on Twitter, I’ve cut down on my lurking on that site. I scan, post if I need to, then leave. I’m also trying to manage my online time better with other places/sites.

And one of the biggest changes I've implemented, is not reading stuff on the iPhone during my commute, or playing one of those mindless (but fun!) games. Instead I just listen to music and let my mind wonder, or work on a sticky point regarding my current manuscript.

The quiet helps.

It’s important.

It’s nothing to be filled, but to let happen.

You’ll be surprised what you find there
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5 comments:

Jeff Rivera said...

Beautiful scenario...

raine said...

Agreed. And I've had much the same problem.
Glad to hear you're finding your zone.

vanessa jaye said...

"Glad to hear you're finding your zone."

Feels more like circling the drain. lol. But determined to get there. :-P

Lynn Viehl said...

The current situation with publishing requires that an author have some sort of online profile, which would include interacting with others online also, not just throwing up a website.

As the unofficial spokesperson for the Non-Twittering, Anti-Facebook minority, I must respectfully disagree. You can do fine with just a blog or a web site. Social media has become a boring illiterate tower of babble, and the content is so badly-written and unsearchable as to be virtually useless for anything other than gathering posses, spreading gossip and encouraging harrassment. Which is why you can register a blog with the Library of Congress as an electronic periodical, but not a Twitter or Facebook account or feed or whatever.

I'd shut it all off for a week and just write. What are you going to miss in seven days besides someone trashing someone else's work, false prophets shrieking it's the end of print, and everyone taking sides over the latest television reality show controversy? It'll be the same tiresome stuff when you get back. :)

vanessa jaye said...

"You can do fine with just a blog or a web site. "

I'm sorta coming back to this pov. Aside from the fun factor, I'm not really sold on twitter/FB re increasing an author's profile/readership.

(ps. forgot what a bracing breath of fresh air you can be. lol.)

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