Set Aside or Squeeze In?
One important concept is to prioritize activities, to set aside time for novel writing, to squeeze in time for writing in my blog, two key concepts given to me by Carol Buchanan, winner of the 2009 Spur Award for Best First Novel by the Western Writers of America.
For the set aside time, I have to plan and use my time efficiently. When I wrote D1 of The Stone Dragon, a fantasy novel, my writing schedule was to write at least 1,000 words during the work week and at least 1,000 words on the weekends. Because I'm a school teacher, a nine-month school year comes to 9 X 8,000 = 72,000 words. Add 8,000 extra words for school vacations, and that comes to at least 80,000 words. I was able to finish the rough draft during the school year, and then I had the summer to write D2 and D3.
Established in Pure Consciousness, Perform Action
I have been practicing Transcendental Meditation since a week before my 21st birthday. Having the creative idea usually is not a problem for me. Balancing the responsibilities of educator, husband, and father with my personal writing goals has been my challenge.
For instance, when my first wife was hospitalized with cancer, for eight years I was the primary caregiver (in addition to provider and father) for our household. I rarely wrote during that time, deeming my energy and time (and rightfully so) too essential to maintaining my family. Now one of my writing projects is taking a series of poems about my "life within a life" (mostly written during that life) to print--a celebration of the complete life I have already lived and (oddly enough, it sometimes seems) am still alive to write about.
TM is a tool that prepares me for action. After that, balancing my writing goals with my life's responsibilities is my challenge.
What I've discovered through my writing and reading is that, for me, my blog should enrich my goals and activities. For me, writing in this blog is not an activity unto itself; it must augment, not overshadow. And so, keeping with my goals, having squeezed in time to post this article, I end this writing.
Copyright 2009 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved