I read a little story in a magazine on Friday morning whilst I was enjoying breakfast in bed (aren’t I lucky), now I know why I read this story. The relevance is my workload today. I, like most writers juggle writing with a job that pays the bills. I have spent 3 hours today working, researching and not writing.
On the 1st January I decided on some must use tactics to get myself ready to jump off the edge again.
1. I bought a diary, I’d love to be a gadget girl, but my love of real paper and ink is too strong! The diary is to log a monthly writing plan with a weekly focus.
2. Start a blog.
3. Finish my short story.
4. Write 1000 words a day.
5. Be inspired. A quick trawl of the internet or opening one of my many books to find a snippet of bliss, a quotation, a photograph, anything that inspires me and fills me a little belief.
Looking at my list & thinking of the whole week I have nearly achieved, this is an important realisation because I really don’t want to start beating myself up over this! If I work on final edits of the already written short story tomorrow and manage 2000 words on the manuscript I will be back on track. I am going to spend this evening completing research and paperwork for my day job. I’m hoping it will take no more than another 4-5 hours, especially as it is already nearly 9:00 pm!
I have managed a post on the blog, ensuring a daily write, which I will be able to maintain as long as I can use my smartphone to update the site next week.
Now back to the stones.
Imagine an empty jar, add some large stones, some smaller pebbles, some sand, nearly full? Pour in some water until it reaches the top. This is possible. However, if you try to fill the jar with the same items in a different order you may find that you have no room left. If you start with the sand, then water, pebbles and finally the large stones, you may find there isn’t room, if you have managed it there will certainly be a mess. So what do the ingredients symbolise? This story is to help all freelancers whether we are artists, photographers, writers etc. to use our precious 24hrs well. It is no good telling me to wake an hour earlier right now, or to work smarter, these techniques need training time. Putting ingredients in the right order? As simple cooking, right?
The large stones – these are our precious moments used on our passion, for me writing.
The smaller stones – are our employment, whatever it is that keeps us out of the house & away from the keyboard all day.
The sand is – the important things that we have to do each day, socialising with friends & family, hobbies, time at the gym, down time and so on.
The water – this is all the things we have to do that we all dream somebody else would such as washing up, cleaning the kitchen floor, keeping your house and affairs in order basically.
I may have told this tale a little differently to the original article I read, but the gist is right. Today I abandoned the big stones, I thought about them, I knew I had to deal with the pebbles as my main focus today. It is a new way of living and I am trying to find time in an already overstretched life to create my writing time.
Images copyright N.A.Lewis 2010 – All rights reserved