Monday, February 13, 2012

Buzz Buzz Busy Bee Needs to Get More Energy

As I progress further down the road toward my ultimate goal of publication, I have discovered that my energy needs a boost. This writing thing takes a lot of creative energy. There are certain drains to my creative energy. These are my current creative energy drains:

1. Anything Tech--last week I had to go over building my web pages with Florina Craven of THINK FLOW DESIGN. I'm so glad I am NOT trying to build  one myself. This requires way too much energy and stops the creative flow.

Lesson: Delegate stuff you hate doing to people who love to do it!!

2. Anything Family: My family is super important to me. I like spending time with the Physicist and the Teen. And the Teen is graduating so there are a lot of holes to plug and t's to cross and i's to dot. This is HIGH PRIORITY. But it is energy draining. My solution? Write when they're not around or go away to write. They can't drain me if they can't find me. It's not selfish. It's self-care. But when I am with them I am fully with them. I'm not disengaged.

Lesson: Schedule writing time to fit your lifestyle demands.

3. Emails/phone calls/social media/blogging all drain my creative energy. I'm easily sucked into the social media world. It is my "water cooler." But I have to put into place rules to maximize the benefit over the energy lost. This means setting a timer, only tweeting and doing status updates during writing breaks, and blogging less. I also don't answer the phone unless it is the school calling. I make phone calls after I'm done working FOR THE DAY. Not during breaks. It is too easy to get sucked into a conversation that lasts too long. The only calls I make during the day are calls which are required by the office hours of medical offices and insurance companies and I schedule them for Mondays. I call them "MEDICAL MONDAYS." Fortunately, haven't had too many of them lately. I am also blogging less. Stay tuned for less of me on the blog and more of me writing books.

Lesson: Use a timer and set a schedule which puts you in charge of social media and phone calls.

4. People. I love people and I have a lot of energy, but I can get drained as well. So I have to pick and choose who I am with and when I am with them. I give myself mini breaks and hang out with non-writing friends between projects and on the weekends. This is a better way of recharging my life.

Lesson: Say no when people want to take up your writing time. Say yes when you have time to socialize. Be in charge of your time and own it.

5. Health. If I'm not exercising and eating right I become grumpy and surly. I need to do both to be a better writer.

Lesson: Take care of yourself or you won't be able to write. Make time for your health. Schedule workouts and plan healthy meals.

It's not rocket science. It's called making your life and your body and your writing a priority for you. And yes, life happens. It does. This morning I had to set aside my goals because the Teen needed help with a printing issue. That's okay. I immediately rescheduled my writing time and will still put in the hours I need to put into the writing later.

Final Lesson: Be flexible and learn to go with the flow and rhythm of the day.

What drains you? What do you do to combat the drains?


Joan Leacott said...

All the stuff you said are huge drains for me, too. I'll add piano practice to my list. The music refreshes me, but it takes a lot out of me, too.

Gretchen Stull said...

Great post, Christine! I'm currently struggling with how to balance writing life, work life, and social life. The lessons you've listed are straightforward, but it's good to see them in black and white like that. One of my biggest stumbling blocks is not letting other people makes claims my time, but instead delegating it according to my needs without feeling guilty. I'm still working on that, but it's helpful to see how others work through this same thing.

Katherine Bone said...

Good list, Christine! ;)

Physical and mental drains? Looking at a computer screen at work, then coming home to write while looking at a computer screen. My question would be, "How do I stay a busy bee without getting eye strain." LOL!

Christine said...

Hi Joan: I know what you mean about doing something you're passionate about but it still drains you. For me it is cooking and helping others achieve their goals. I have to turn off the dial. Literally. But I don't know how I'd turn off practice. For me it is the working out. Got to do it. Glad I do it. But the time away from the keyboard is not good. Still, I must do this. And you must practice. So I call it a harmony. A go with the musical beat of your life. Flow with the beat of your life in that moment.


Christine said...

Hi Gretchen: One of the best books I read about overcoming the guilt is LIFE MAKEOVERS. I made a TOP 5 PRIORITY list and I follow it religiously. I have Top 5 Yeses for personal and writing life. I say yes only to the things that fit the lists. So now when I say NO I don't feel guilty. It's like the Grinch with Jim Carey. What am I doing today at that tine? Oh, yah, dinner with myself. Can't reschedule it!! Try it. I loved that feeling!


Christine said...

Kathy: I don't know how you do it!! I just don't. I would go nuts if I had to work all day and then deal with the computer. Yet I know dozens of published authors who do this. We should ask them to give us a program on how they do this!!

Keep writing!
You are close!


Robin Bielman said...

As usual, so much of what you've said rings true with me too. Lately my day job has been more full time and that's been the toughest challenge for me. I'm exhausted when I get home and have so much I want to do: be with my family, write, eat, read, stay in touch with people, sleep Oy.

Christine said...

Your day sounds packed. I don't know how you do it all, Robin. But you do. Just keep your top priorities straight and let the rest of it go bouncing away.

Hugs and happy writing!