This week I have been splitting my writing time between adding to my story and reading more of The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron. I haven’t added much to my story, but I have made an outline of the next few chapters. I feel like this is good progress; however, I feel a little stalled at this point because I know how I want the story to end, but I need to figure out how to get there from where it’s at right now.
So, while I’m brainstorming and trying to work on certain details, I have spent more time reading, hoping that would generate an idea or shake lose the cobwebs. While I’ve been reading, I came across an intriguing exercise in The Writer’s Idea Book, and even though I am still at the early stages of my novel and have only really been working at it again for a month now, I feel like the exercise is a good use of time.
“List the most common and frequent reasons you give for not spending enough time being creative. Next to each entry on the list, write who is in control of that situation. Now write a short plan for taking back control. It may require some tough admissions and a little creativity, but you’re taking the first step toward opening your creative side.” (page 15).
1) Time: In control of this: mostly me.
a) The whole making time to write thing is new to me (sort of). I didn’t have a child when I was in graduate school, so my time was very much my own then. Now, aside from making sure she is taken care of during the day, I actually still have quite a bit of time to do what I want with. In order to take control of this, I just need to make myself set aside the time from other things that I do (like Facebook, video games, etc.).
2) Distracted by other hobbies: In control of this: again, mostly me.
a) I spend a fair amount of time cross stitching, and I don’t really want to give that time up. I make gifts for my family and homemade gifts are worth spending the time on. But, I could maybe assign myself a few less projects to do in order to free up some time in the evenings for writing.
3) Distracted by Zadie: In control of this: She’s 4. No one has complete control of that situation.
a) I don’t see this as a problem. She is my only child, and I wouldn’t give up my time with her for anything. On the weekends when her daddy is home, I have set aside some time to go into my office with the door shut and she has to leave me alone for a little while. She thinks it’s funny. She says I’m doing homework, but for now, it seems to be working at giving me a little free time.
4) The voice in my head says it’s a waste of time: In control of this: Not sure.
a) I wish it were easy to say that I’m just going to ignore that voice, but it’s not that simple. That voice is there for most creative people, and it doesn’t get easier with time. I firmly believe creative endeavors are important. Time spent trying to make something is time well spent, and even if what is created is not that great, the process of creating is a good skill to develop. And, I’ve noticed when I spend time working on my novel or other creative projects, I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my time afterwards. In fact, it’s the opposite. Creative time makes me want to create more. Every time I add another chapter not only do I feel closer to my goal, but I feel like I’m accomplishing something that matters. And I can’t wait to take a step back and admire the finished product.
So, the moral of this story is… I am not going to make excuses! I am the only one preventing me from reaching my goal!