Monday, August 1, 2011

Creating: Taking Stock

I don't know about you, but I need to stop every once in a while and take stock of where I am. Not physically where I am, but where I am in relation to my goals and my to-do list.

When I do this, I also think about if I'm on the right track or if I've jumped track along the way and am rolling along out of control. I do that sometimes, too, without realizing it. Or sometimes I think I am, but when I take stock, I'm not.

I probably don't do this as often as I should. And I don't do it on a regular schedule. Usually it's when things get a little off kilter and I feel out of control.

So last week, things got a little off kilter. And I stopped to take stock.

Sure enough, what with my house being Grand Central Station for all sorts of family and with my attention focused on reducing the amount of time I've been devoting to the whole social media scene ... my writing time got shoved in the corner. Along with my reading time. I still managed a little of each, but not much.

So I gave my family and the social media part of my brain notice: No More Mr. Nice Guy.

Writing Time has reclaimed it's front-and-center position. It feels good.

What is especially amazing to me is that I keep track of my time on a writing planner. I know the hours I put in for each thing. But it wasn't until the family circus arrived that I had a problem. Until then, I just worked more so my writing hours didn't go down. But this week, I couldn't work more because of other priorities. That's when I noticed that my available time went to social media instead of writing. Or in my current state, instead of pre-planning characters and plot for my next manuscript.

Sometimes it takes a change-up for us to see what is right before our eyes all along.

Does this happen to you, too? Or is it just me?

28 comments:

Clarissa Draper said...

No, I do that too. I do that every week. Maybe I'm too hard on myself but I always feel better when I can look back at the week with pride.

BECKY said...

Yep, life always gets in the way of our plans and well intentions, doesn't it?!

Hart Johnson said...

Man, I HATE it when real life interferes with my writing schedule! It's funny, because I always love to see family, but yes--totally interferes... I think it's great to take stock and regroup though, so well done!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Real life and the internet get in the way often.

Colette said...

I do get thrown off when my usual schedule is disrupted -- when the kids are home, or my husband decides to take a day off from work. The dynamic changes and my work doesn't get done.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Yes it *does* happen for me. It's called school summer vacation. :) I'm trying to get back in whack now. :) Good for you!

Manzanita said...

You are one wise Scorpio to call a halt to the passing circus. If you notice, everyone else is living their life, so why let it infringe into yours? Onward, Babe.

Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

Linda G. said...

Oh, yeah, it definitely happens to me, too. Sometimes you just have to stand back from everything, take a deep breath, and reconsider your priorities. Sounds like you're doing exactly that. :)

VR Barkowski said...

I honestly don't know where my time goes, so yes, it happens to me. At present, it's not people but events that are interfering with the writing process. Wish I knew how to turn things around.

LR said...

Yes I can relate. Just quit an extra part-time job and my writing time has doubled.
There'll be less shopping but at least the priorities are straight again.
P.S. I'm going on vacation. "See you" next week. And have fun writing!

Talei said...

Nope, I am right beside you with that. I already have to re-check time I'm spending on my writing vs goals. Needs. Must. Have to... otherwise I lost focus and there are so many distractions out there.

Happy writing!

Carol Kilgore said...

Clarissa - Maybe I should do this every week, too. Good idea.

Becky - It sure does.

Hart - Exactly. Love seeing them, but want to write.

Alex - I'm much better at saying no to the internet than I am to family.

Colette - So true about the dynamic changing.

Carol Kilgore said...

Elizabeth - It's not easy, but it's worth it.

Manzanita - Thanks for the words of encouragement :)

Linda - Some days it's hard to push my projects to the top of the stack.

VR - Think about it every night before you go to sleep. It may take a few days for the answer to come, but it will.

LR - Have a great vacation!

Talei - So true about all the distractions.

RaShelle said...

Carol - It happens to me, too. I'm impressed to keep track of your writing hours.

Carol Kilgore said...

RaShelle - It's what works for me.

Arlee Bird said...

Gotta admire you for this. I often will get inspired and make big plans, but soon fall back on old habits. The "writing planner" idea is a very good one that I've considered but have yet to institute. Keep up the great effort, Carol.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Carol Kilgore said...

Arlee - My writing planner is the only thing that's ever continued to work for me.

Teresa aka Journaling Woman said...

Yep, I can't say no to family--too important. But, I definitely need to say no to the internet. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Teresa - The internet is temptation on a screen.

Shirley Wells said...

This happens to me all the time. I love that you keep track of your writing time. What a great idea.

I have family visiting next week. For a fortnight. Yup. I'll be climbing the walls. :)

Clarissa Draper said...

Thank you for the encouraging comments on my blog today.

Carol Kilgore said...

Shirley - I'll pray for you :)

Clara - You can do it. I have faith. You're determined and have a lot of talent and imagination.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm being hard on myself now. I'm behind in my goals, so I've taken to writing on a laptop that lacks internet. I still have internet breaks on the computer, but I return to the laptop for uninterrupted work, or else I'll always be behind. I've also been jotting in my calendar how much or for how long I've written daily.

Glynis Jolly said...

Carol, believe me, you're not the only one. I had to get a planner so that I'd write my posts before I was frantic to publish them. I was driving myself crazy doing that. I sat, took inventory of myself, got the planner. Now I have 2 different times set up to write each day. Neither are very long but I like this being broken up.

Carol Kilgore said...

Medeia - I track how long and how much I write or edit. Plus my blog and other social networking time.

Glynis - Good for you. It's difficult working everything in.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I often feel like I am juggling family and friends, social media stuff, promotion, reading, writing, etc. My writing time can get lost in all of this and that's frustrating. I often find myself re-prioritizing. Where does the time go?

Shannon Lawrence said...

Oh, it definitely happens to me! It seems writing is the first thing to fall by the wayside when things get busy around here (and exercise, haha). Every little once in awhile I need to step back and see what it is I'm doing and what I need to be doing.

Carol Kilgore said...

Cynthia - Where can we put in for 48-hour days?

Shannon - I'm glad I'm not alone.