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.


  1. That looks like the perfect writing retreat location--God will be there with you.
    Moon over Manifest is one of my favorite reads of the past few years...which is saying a lot. It's SO a book I wish I had written.
    Have a lovely, blessed trip!

  2. I know, I already started reading it. I took it out of the library weeks ago and renewed it twice! I was hooked after the first page and had to go "return" it, pay my fine, and "take it out" again. It makes me sad it was so easy. There should be dozens of kids on a waiting list for it.

    Have a lovely couple of weeks. I hope things are winding down a bit for you. Stay hydrated, for heaven's sake! Sending love from North Granby, and then, on Saturday, from the home of Anne of Green Gables! Hugs to Mark and the girls.

  3. OH, RT, don't I know it ... the little things of life take up time. I always tell my children that time lost is gone forever. What a wonderful haven to write from ... enjoy this special time to read and write. God go with you.

    1. Have a blessed couple of weeks, Vijaya! I will also be playing Quiddler with my sister. She is a Quiddler shark and always wins our tournaments. If I come close, I will be happy!

  4. I am horrible at Quiddler - I could never get my girls to play with me long enough to get any good. I'm totally envious. I'm at my own writer's retreat until Saturday. So sad I won't see you before you go.

    I will set a goal of 10,000 new words on my WIP - I need a goal. When I see you again, I hope we've both met the goal. Enjoy your vacation!

    1. You're horrible at it? How about a tournament when I get back? Of course, if you turn out to be a ringer and beat me after the inevitable drubbing my sis will dish out, I won't speak to you. Really, I won't.

      Have a safe trip back!

  5. I haven't played in years and can't remember the rules, so I think you are safe.

    Are you taking Lena with you? I really can't wait to see how she deals with the cyber cess pool she has fallen into.