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Monday, August 30, 2010

An online writer's group posted a thought-provoking question.  The panelist reminded us of the Staple's ads featuring an "Easy Button."  And then asked what makes writing easy.   "What makes the time fly and words fly and fingers fly for you?"

It's a great question.  This past month has been very busy.  She Speaks always adds more to my to-do list. My children were getting ready to go back to school.  And I've been playing catch-up after having those same blessings home all summer.  Writing has fallen to the bottom of my priorities.  It's not been easy at all.

What makes writing easy for me?   Being anywhere but home.  Starbucks.  Borders.  Barnes and Noble.  The library.  You name it.  I could write on a bus, the park, or the curb outside of QT.  Basically, anywhere my work computer isn't.

But I should be able to write at my desk!  I say with a pout. 

It's a beautiful desk, and all my writing resources are within arms reach.  My wonderful dog Kona sits at my feet.  My husband is just upstairs in his office if I need to bounce an idea off someone.  The microwave is ready to reheat my coffee and I can look at my rose bushes outside when I need a refreshment break.

But there are also e-mails sitting in my inbox.  And no, I can't fool myself by shutting down Outlook.  I know they are there - taunting me with needs to be met.  There are projects sitting in my desk-top file holder.  My phone rings.  The dogs need more water.  Life happens all around me and I can't turn it off.  I'm wired to respond. 

So I've castigated myself for my lack of discipline.  Other people can write at their home desks. And so should I.  Right?

But I'm tired of berating myself.  And I'm not even sure it's really a lack of discipline.  What if it's misplaced productivity?

If I'm most creatively productive in a certain environment, then I should play to my strengths. Many artists believe environment is crucial to creativity.  Think of Monet in the French countryside.  Thoreau by Walden's Pond.

Perhaps for me it is identifying that two distinct personalities reside within my person:  1) The administrative leader  2)  The creative writer.  Those two personalities require different fuel and nurture.  They also require different settings at times.

So instead of fighting myself, I'm investing in myself.

If you are my area this week, at a Border's Books, you might find me in the cafe, sipping a mocha and writing.  Come join me and we'll start a group of people who love to write, like Emerson and Thoreau in Boston, or Lewis and Tolkien at Oxford.   Well ... I know that's dreaming high ... but it's fun to think about.

In His Love,



KelliGirl said...

Glynnis, I can really relate! I don't get out of the house to write all that often (my laptop stinks!) but I see how the distractions at home keep me from doing everything but write. Sitting down to write usually involves a massive internal wrestling match.

Happy back-to-school and happy writing.

Spring M Fricks said...

Oh my word I wish I lived near you because I'm going through the exact same thing! Maybe I should head to the park with my netbook. Just thinking about that makes my heart pound.

Edwina said...

If I believed in other lives - I would say that we must have been twins! I canot write until I've checked and answered all emails, my desk has been uncluttered, etc.

I keep reminding myself of BICHOK. (Backside in chair, hands on keyboard. TYPE!!)

proudgrits11 said...

We need to meet up sometime, I'll bring my laptop!!! :)
I'm the same way. I write AND craft....I love both and both require me to take time out and be deliberate about what I need to accomplish. I have a craft room and it's beautiful and organized.....but there are times that I can't focus in there because it's "too quiet" so I have to work at the kitchen table, so I can be in the hub-bub and talk while work. Writing requires me to be alone, though....so I have to close the door and sit at the computer, asking my kids to leave me alone for another minute so I can finish my thought.
The point, like you say, is not to beat ourselves up over what we do--embrace it and make it work! Love it! :)

Tracy Nunes said...

Ditto, ditto. I recently said this same thing to my daughters and husband. I realized that even though there are more people at Borders (my favorite), none of them require anything from me. I can put on my IPod and get into a focused writing and study mode that is unattainable at home, where my "to do" list beckons and threatens me with chaos if I don't answer its call. My time is exponentially fruitful, especially for preparing to lead a group or for writing.
But, it’s in the home life where the seeds of my writing are planted, watered and pruned. Ahhh, balance, it will always be a prayerful challenge.

Melissa said...

Glynnis, I love how you said there's the 'administrative leader' and the 'creative writer' parts of you. I can SO relate! Sometimes I feel so divided with where my gifts lie. I'm the exact same way. I am learning to just go with the flow of inspiration when it comes to keep the creative me flowing and try to stick to some routines so the leader in me accomplishes some things on her list. I've been known to burn dinner because inspiration has come and I can't stop writing!!!

tiggerdaisy said...

I can so relate! :)

Prayers and blessings,

Anonymous said...

YES. I understand! There is a lot at home that demands my attention. And sometimes I can take my netbook out and accomplish something, but.... Last fall my youngest was in preschool. Her two hour stint three times a week took me "into town" for the duration. We live quite a number of miles from civilization, so we don't do back and forth. I would drop her off and hit a coffee shop or the library. But our town is small, so I ALWAYS saw someone I knew who wanted to "catch up." For me, writing while out and about also means striking a balance between the work and the people I love. SO HARD. :)

Ashley Pichea said...

I enjoy writing at home, but I am much more productive when I visit the local Christian college's library. Something about not having a constant barrage of little voice interrupting my every thought... :)

Esther said...

I, too, have two kinds of personalities in me -- the administrator and the "teacher" / communicator. They work differently, think differently and sometimes I have to flip the switch. Good to know I'm not alone!

Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

I love this post, Glynnis! As the sun is rising on a new school year here in a few days, I've been asking the Lord to direct my steps afresh. Realizing I have two personalities residing in me (administrative leader and the desire to write) and that they require different "fuel and nurture" is freeing. :) God is good!