Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ray Bradbury: "You only fail if you stop writing."

I am not a multi-tasker.  I cannot do one or two or several things at once with any degree of comfort or grace. And that's what I've been doing over the last few weeks. Lots of stuff I had to do and lots of stuff I probably shouldn't have done.

My problem is this: I do not respect the awesome constraints of time, and I never have.  I tend to be tardy (although I have worked on that since tardiness is a sin against the virtue of justice ... it denies the victims of my tardiness something they should have—their time.) I never allot enough time for the things I decide to do. I waste time watching television (go-to rationalization on this one: story research.) And I do not spend enough time taking real care of myself— doing things like sleeping, eating healthy food, and exercising.

I have been a big spender.  A big spender of seconds, minutes, hours and even days.  And because I've come late to the writer's life, I'm having a hard time taking the time to not "stop writing."

Over the last few months, I've realized it's more than just acquiring good, disciplined habits.  At this very moment, I feel pressure to finish this blog post and get going with the "real" stuff I have to do. Shop for birthday presents, pack for a trip, figure out what to make for dinner and bring some stuff to Goodwill.

The way I'm wired to cope with day-to-day life is still very much to "stop writing."

The wiring is changing, little by slowly.  I'm leaving for a vacation on Saturday, and I'm bringing an old lap-top with me that will work just fine as a typewriter.  I have my "WIP on a STICK," Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies, G.K. Chesterton's St. Francis of Assisi, Jesse Kellerman's Potboiler, Jim Butcher's Ghost Story and Claire Vanderpool's Moon Over Manifest (because reading is the very best motivation to write.) There is not much of anything to "overspend" time on where I'm going.  I will be surrounded by beauty, and beauty is something that almost seems to restore time.

My only sadness is that I won't be able to vote in the fabulous WRiTE CLUB contest while I'm gone, nor will I be able to read the blog posts of Faith Hough, Vijaya Bodach, D.L. Hammon, Lynn Guelzow, Gordon Freeman, Marc Barnes, Heather King or the many, many guest writers on Writer Unboxed.

But I will come back with over ten thousand new words of my WIP and I will not fail.

I only fail if I stop writing.

Where I will be writing for the next two weeks.