Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Recognise your limits.

Everyone has something limiting how long they spend on a project. This isn't just for writers, although I am being writer specific in this instance.

Many writers have families. Families, quite rightly, take up a lot of time. There's making sure everyone is fed (including pets), making sure the laundry isn't out of control (never ending, that one), making sure everyone has made it to work/school/clubs safely. Food has to be in the house, bills paid, mail sorted, shopping bought. There's always something to be done, something that limits their time. And yet, writers get their books written.

They sneak their time in when loved ones are in bed. They brainstorm on the school run, or when they are stuck in rush hour. They snatch precious moments while dinner is cooking. They sometimes delegate chores so they can make a deadline. They can plot on the way to the doctors, all in their head, then get those ideas onto paper/computer once they return. The limits are they, but still they manage to write.

A lot of writers have another job. Some are full time, some are part time. They have to squeeze writing in between work and family commitments. These are all huge limits on writing time, yet somehow they get their books written.

Few writers have the privilege of being full time writers. Those who are - well, family time tends to encroach a lot more on the writing schedule. But still, they find time to write.

I don't usually write what I term as deep and meaningful posts (or, in the original typing, pots!) But today I found it necessary to. As a reminder for myself, rather than anything else.

For now, I am part of a family, but I don't have my own one just yet. In theory this gives me lots of time. In theory my part time job gives me lots of time for writing. But I, just like those writers busy with family commitments, have my limits.

I know I'm not the only writer with an ongoing health condition. Those of you who frequent my review blog, Nayu's Reading Corner, can see that often I'm attacked by Germ Gremlins (who are Evil).

For me, my health is my major limiting factor on my writing. I may want to write a chapter at a time, but I can't always do that. If I overdo it one day by writing for hours on end *cough This Sunday cough*, I will pay the following day. Or several days.

The good news is that there is light at the end of that proverbial tunnel. Hopefully things might improve a little for me over the next few months. If they don't, well its something to adjust to.

Whether they do or don't isn't the issue. What is most important that I recognise my limitations as being valid. That I don't bulldoze through them, ignore the warning signs that I need more rest, and carry on writing. Muse may get carried away, but I, her instrument of writing, must quit listening to her enticing words.

Make sure you know your limitations, and believe in their validity. You'll have less guilt when you can't write (or doing any other task you enjoy). I'm not aiming to beat anyone in word count. All of our writing journeys are unique. None of us are clones, or have the same lives (I wouldn't want to experience the joys of the Tube in London.)

I'm not a bad writer for only getting a couple of decent sentences written on one day. I'd be a bad writer if I pushed to write more. I'm not a bad writer if I can't write at all one day. I'm only bad if I procrastinate! Staying healthy one of the most important things any of us can do. We can still achieve our dreams - it might take a bit longer, but one foot in front of the other is the best philosophy. Not two steps forward, one step back.


Krispy said...

Always good to have a reminder post to put this whole writing thing into perspective. :) Thanks!

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GMR said...

Wonderful post! I can certainly see why you said to make sure to read this one. ^_^ Definitely taking care of your health is a priority and writing though a passion must take a back seat at times. I myself definitely understand the time limit issues. There are instance where I wish I could read more or blog more, etc...but reality it what it is. I have two jobs (sometimes a third, depending) plus family and pets. That's not even counting finding the time to read, review, post and enjoy some time off (time off? What is that?)....but we do what we have to do because it needs to be done. So, if I don't get to mention everyone individually on a #FF on Twitter, yes I feel bad, but you know what, it's not the end of the world. Letting things falls as they may and taking them one step at a time is really all that can be asked of any of us. Powerful post, Nayu! Thanks for sharing your pearls of wisdom... ^_^

Nayuleska said...

:) I did this primarily for myself! And also to let you all know its ok not to match up to the (impossible), unnatural image of a perfect writer/reviewer/etc. Sometimes the most pressure we have is put on by ourselves.