Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Days Are Getting Longer, But They Still Have Only 24 Hours

The first day of Spring arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere yesterday.  (We in the Midwest have been experiencing record-breaking high temperatures for a week now, so it actually feels like summer has arrived.) And I finally got outside to take a photograph of the daffodils in our front yard:
As I mentioned last Friday, the TeachingAuthors are dedicating a series of posts in honor of JoAnn by dipping into the archives and sharing with you, our readers, some of our favorite posts of hers. JoAnn is an amazingly productive person, able to juggle many tasks and projects. Although we'll miss her as a TA, I respect and admire her for saying "no" to something she enjoys and values so that other parts of her life don't suffer. Life is a balancing act for all of us, and especially for those of us in creative pursuits like writing. It's difficult to earn a decent living as a fiction writer, so most of us have to "support our habit" with teaching, school visits, freelance work, a "day job," etc.

With the vernal equinox behind us, the daylight hours now exceed the nighttime ones. Yet we still have only 24 hours in a day. And I still struggle with how to prioritize and manage what I do with that time. Often, it's my creative writing that suffers, as I focus on "income-generating" activities. When that happens, I think of a post JoAnn wrote nearly two years ago called "One Big Rock" in which she shared this image:

In the post, JoAnn talked about her own time-management challenges and the advice she heard at a presentation on the topic: (I'm paraphrasing here.) If this "one big rock" represents your most important priority, you need to put it in your time-management "jar" before the container gets filled with pebbles and stones.

I think of that image, and JoAnn's words, whenever I start to feel out of balance. If you missed her post, or would like to reread it, you'll find it here. Because it's an old post, you won't be able to comment on it, so I hope you'll come back and share your thoughts below, or email them to the TeachingAuthors via this link.

Happy writing!


AllAboutTheMusic said...

My rock is writing/making music and I devote nowhere near the amount of time I should to it. I just keep putting it off and allow myself to be distracted by the little things. But at least the weather is great, right?

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for your comment, AllAboutTheMusic. It reminds me that all sorts of creativity, not just fiction writing, tends to get relegated to the bottom of the "to do" list. The reasons are often complex, from feeling we don't "deserve" to spend time on non-income generating pursuits, to fear of failure. If you're outside enjoying the weather today, why not take your "rock" with you? (I just came in from journalling in the backyard.) :-)

April Halprin Wayland said...

love those daffodils!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Yes, my creative writing gets pushed aside for income-generating work too often--& when that goes on too long (as it has lately), I definitely feel the imbalance. Thank you for reminding me to keep an eye on my priorities, Marti!

Carmela Martino said...

Glad to help, JA, though I'm just returning the favor. :-)