Thursday, September 22, 2011

Do You Take Your Writing Seriously? Do You Take It *Too* Seriously?

IMS00173One interesting blog post that I’ve recently come across was on Cheryl’s Musings, writer Cheryl Reif’s blog.

In the post, Cheryl explains how she decided to start writing. Actually, her story is a lot like my own, which might be why I identified with it. We both enrolled our small children in preschool and started taking our writing seriously.

Cheryl lists some ideas for respecting yourself as a writer, including protecting your writing time and realizing that just because you’re unpublished, it doesn’t mean your writing is unimportant.

I tweeted a link to the post and quite a few people connected to the topic and retweeted it.

One person tweeted back, though, saying that she thought she took her writing too seriously.

I’ve done both, I think. I know the biggest gain in my writing career was when I decided to take my writing seriously. I set an attainable goal, and things started clicking into place.

But I’ve also taken my writing too seriously sometimes. I’ve let deadlines stress me out, I’ve concentrated too much on writing and let other things slide that needed attention in my life.

It looks like, as in so many things in life, that moderation or balance is key.

For me this means making sure I eke out writing time each day (lately it’s been in the 30 minutes in the carpool line outside the high school), but it also means that I put my laptop away when members of my family are trying to have a conversation with me.

I also make sure I plan time in my day for reading (which is both enjoyment and craft-building time for me) and time for connecting online with other writers….the network of writers on blogs and Twitter, etc., who provide so much information and encouragement. But then I make time to play a card game with my kids or talk about the news of the day with my husband.

And…it’s tough. Some days I’m not sure I’m handling the balance at all well. Occasionally I feel distracted, too, when I’m supposed to be focused on what I’m doing at the time. But I’m trying.

How do you balance your time? Do you take your writing seriously? Do you take it too seriously?