Tag Archives: writing priorities

Welcome to My Writing World: Piglandia

As some of you know, I’m a closet pig.  Sadly, this has oozed into my weekend and I’m now living in Piglandia.

Last week, my speech team prepared for sub-sections in a marathon of late night practices.  Adding to the mix were final preps for the Children’s Theatre of which I had two boys in, taxied a third to and fundraised for.  (And yes, I am fully aware that every one of those phrases ended with a preposition.  Sorry Mrs. Kirkeby.)  Throw in a baseball sign up night and an absent DH for a few days and you can see where this is heading…

Somehow, I managed to keep things relatively ordered–until the curtain opened on Friday night.  When the final act closed on Sunday afternoon, I felt like I had been home a total of five hours all weekend.

My house might disagree.  After all, how could I have left seven pairs of shoes on the floor in a mere five hours?  My speech bag is on the kitchen table, my sweater from yesterday is on the counter and my purse is in the bathroom.  I have several sets of keys strewn around the house, and I had to call my cell phone to find it amidst the rubble that has become Piglandia.

My writing life has moments of Piglandia as well.  For instance, I just finished my third beta read in as many weeks and have another downloaded on my Kindle.  I have a freelance project to wrap up, a speech to write for tonight, and, and, and.

My brain is bursting with plot bunnies (it must be spring) and I have my own manuscripts to scour for content and copy.  I’m a writing mess right now.

But, I’ve learned a thing or two about living in Piglandia–both in writing and in life.

I corral my plot bunnies (as found at From the Write Angle), I organize my keys projects in order of importance and stuff my shoes back into the closet where they belong.

When my world appears uncluttered on the surface, I gain a deeper level of calmness.  I don’t fret about messy closets and figure if someone peeks inside them, it’s their problem not mine.  After all, I know what each closet holds even if it looks more chaotic than a dozen clowns piling out of a VW Bug.  I even know where in the Bug individual clowns closet individual items might be.

It’s just a matter of getting them there in the first place.  Like I said, my house–and my writing world–is usually quite clean.  Just every once in a while, things pile up and I need a moment to declutter Piglandia and regain my balance.

How about you, dear writers?  What do you do when things pile up and threaten to overtake you?  Do you have calming chaos like me and my closets?  If so, what is your vice?  Or, is your home/writing life spit-shined to perfection in every nook and cranny?  If so, how in the heck do you do it?

Curious minds want to know.

Advertisements

(Un)Healthy Writing 4: Addiction

Addictions start out small.  A sip here, a puff there.  A tasty treat that turns into a binge eating session.  “Just another minute” at the keyboard that turns to just a few more hours.

My question: can we include writing in a list of addictions that afflict people across the globe?

I honestly don’t have an answer for you on whether or not writing can consume your time and attention in such a way that it can be classified as addiction.  I do know that writers can spend a disproportionate number of hours at their desks.  I know that some writers spend virtually every free moment in front of the screen.  Or dreaming of being in front of the screen.

I know that clothes go unwashed, kids are left to fend for themselves and all real life social activities taper off into nonexistence.  I know that significant others complain that writers have better relationships with their characters than with them.

But does this qualify as a writing addiction?

I suppose it could if one is actually writing or performing some kind of writing task while letting real life dribble off into nothingness.  However, I assume this isn’t necessarily the case.  I assume that other activities invade writing time and the proposed addiction may not be writing itself, but some form of socializing.

Angry Birds, anyone?  Facebook, blogs, AgentQuery, research, chat rooms…?

Are you an effective writer, or one whose writing time borders on social addiction?  Is it possible to be addicted to the writing process itself?  If so, how does an aspiring author break the addiction yet still be productive?  How can writing dreams interfere with real life priorities, and how can we be more efficient in fewer hours?

Curious minds want to know.

Price Check on Aisle 3: rating social groups

Price is one of the things I look for when buying something from the store.  Quality, durability and functionality also play a big role in what I buy and why.

As a member of several online writing communities, I notice that I am more active in some than in others.  If I were to buy them at Walmart, I’d have a value assessed to them so I knew which ones were worth my hard-earned cash.

One of my faves–and I won’t lie to make other networks feel good–is Agent Query.  AQ has a vast array of writers.  Some have very recently taken pen in hand, while others are seasoned veterans.  My only disappointment in the AQ arena is that their juvenile lit groups are not as active as I would like them to be.  I know, selfish, but there you have it.

Another great resource and community is the SCBWI.  The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators obviously provides me with the one thing AQ does not–child centric conversation and commiseration.

Likewise for Verla Kay and the BlueBoards.

Then there’s twitter and Facebook.  Both of which I fail at miserably.  While I love, love, love the tight writing of twitter, I don’t get on there as much as I should or provide great insight like I could.  Again, I’ve been limited in my contact over there and it is 100% my fault.

Facebook.  Hmmm.

I used to participate in a very active group of NaNoBuddies on Live Journal, but then they changed some things and, unless I upgraded to a paid membership, I had to sit through annoying video ads EVERYTIME I switched pages.  This saddens me to no end.

NaNoWriMo is my staple during the months of October, November and early December.  I live there.  I love there and I never want to leave.  I’m sure my family is relieved when NaNoSeason is over.  Obviously the downfall to this community is that it is filled with crazy wannabe writers who jump into the writing world feet first and fizzle out as the month progresses.  Definitely not a long-term support.  More like therapy for the insane! 

And blogging.  The love of my writing life.  I could blog all day if it didn’t feel like such a time sucker.  I am heartbroken when I don’t get to visit my fellow bloggers like I want to. 

Writer’s Digest Community–the name speaks for itself.  As an avid reader of the magazine for half my life, I can’t say enough about the integrity of its backer.  However, as a whole, I have found that interaction is a bit slower and somewhat one-sided than some of the other sites I frequent.  Though I must say my time on there has been well worth it in finding fellow writer and blogger, Elisa!

I won’t rate my social network groups, as I love them all for various reasons.  However, the fact that I will be starting back to work (outside my house) full-time means that I will have to prioritize.

Price check on aisle three.  How do you decide which communities to engage in?  Why do you spend more time in some than in others?  If you had to pick just one, could you do it, or would you find yourself cheating as time went on?