Good Thursday Morning
I'm feeling better about balance already.
I'm hoping you are as well.
Today I am honored to have as a guest,
So many times I’ve been told, “If I was retired like you are, all I’d do is write.”
That’s not the way it works for me. First of all, it seems I’m busier than ever these days. There’s a garden full of flourishing weeds that need to be evicted, an unfinished quilt top to stitch, lunch dates with friends, dust bunnies procreating under the bed, my adorable granddaughter to babysit, and the dog whining at the door, begging for a walk. That reminds me—I really should exercise more. And since I have so much free time, my still-employed husband has a few errands I could run while I’m out and about. Who has time to sit at a computer all day? But I’ve observed a phenomenon that I first noticed as a young mother working at a full-time job—the more I have to do, the more I get done.
You’d think the opposite would be true – that my imagination would soar when unfettered by obligations, but that just isn’t the case. When a whole day stretches in front of me with nothing planned, I don’t write as much as when I set aside a treasured hour or two squeezed in between other responsibilities. On my free days, my brain seems to realize it has plenty of time, it gets lazy, and the urgency to create just isn’t there.
And since Nature abhors a vacuum, that’s when the Internet sirens call. Emails, LinkedIn posts, Facebook friends from my high school years. Posts to my own blog and readers’ comments that require responses. Then there are the weekly blog memes, Amazon threads, Goodreads updates, book reviews. Maybe a quick game of Word Scram or Solitaire. All of that leaches away the minutes until the day is gone and few words have been added to my manuscript. After all, I had all day and … poof! … where did it go?
But when there’s a lot going on, I ignore the computer’s overtures (well, most of them) and focus on what has to be accomplished in the short window of time I’ve allocated for writing. I go to the computer with an idea of what I want to say, and I make it happen. For some reason the ideas come and the words flow.
So although it sounds intuitively wrong and completely the opposite of what you’d expect, my advice for balancing writing time with life is to fill your days with as much living as possible. You’ll train your brain to take advantage of those spare moments when writing is what you crave to do, and you’ll bring more experiences to the writing desk. Best of all, you’ll still have time for all those other fun things that come along in life.
PS: And if that doesn’t work, wash your hair. I’ve found that my best ideas come when I’m soaping my head in the shower or drying my hair. My theory is that the heat warms up my brain cells.
Bio: Sandra Nachlinger is a Native Texan who moved to Washington state several years ago. She has been writing seriously for the past 15 years. Her works have been featured in Woman’s World Magazine, Sasee Magazine, and various local publications. Her first novel, I.O.U. SEX, was co-authored with Sandra Allen.
~ Sandra Nachlinger, co-author with Sandra Allen of I.O.U. SEX
What happens when three grown women track down their high school boyfriends, decades after graduation?
Available in eBook and paperback on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/I-O-U-Sex-ebook/dp/B004CFAPA4/
Also available from Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.