Monday, January 19, 2015


I haven’t looked at my Gmail account in probably six months. What a mess. I have been predominantly using my main account for simplicity especially once I retreated to my castle keep and closed the gates. It was one less thing to deal with when I didn’t feeling like dealing with much at all. Several hundred emails needed to be sorted out and subscriptions to newsletters and websites I 

didn’t want and don’t remember signing up for, needed to be cancelled.  Father Dragon would have been impressed with my deleting abilities.

One thing about cleaning is it gives you lots of time to think. I got to thinking about how we have to delete some things to make room for other things. Unsubscribe, if you will, to things that take up unnecessary space—mentally and physically. I think that’s true of writing as well. Physically, I have to sit my butt in the chair and write but, just as important; I have to clear my mind of detritus to see the direction I want to go. Now that I have more energy than a sleeping snail, I’m trying to catch up and clear the accumulation of junk out of the way so I can move forward.

Have you ever watched the defragging program on your computer? It first analyzes the system, recognizes unmovable files and then picks one movable section at a time. It then moves one file from that section and goes on to the next. It moves and packs those files all around the unmovable ones. It clears and recovers chunks of space that can now be used.

I’m analyzing my day and life. I recognize that there are parts of my life that are non-negotiable or unmovable—family needs, ranch chores, and my job. I also need time to rest and nurture me. However, within each of those unmovable pieces some adjustment can be made. I can compact my time spent on the ranch chores, I have some leeway with my work schedule, and I can condense some of the time I spend on family things. I need to defrag my day and my week to recover chunks of time and then use them wisely to accomplish what I want to do. Those parts of my life that are fragmented, like my overflowing email, can be deleted or moved. They scatter my focus and slow down my accomplishments. It adds unnecessary stress to my life.

In prioritizing my life I realize that I do my best creative writing in the early morning. I need to wisely use that recovered space and time. It may not be every day and only be an hour or two several days a week. I can get quite a bit done and every bit adds to the whole. Any nonfiction writing can be done in the evening because it’s easier for me and uses a different part of my brain. Different mindset.

It’s all about balance. I need to delete the unnecessary and modify the necessary. I need to be aware of my limitations and not get impatient with myself or compare what I’m doing now with what I was able to do several years ago. With mindfulness and care I can take advantage or recovered space and time.

  • What about you? How do you defrag your life to accomplish what you want to do?

Coming up this week:

Wednesday: Kat Sheridan will be doing part II of blurbs and backcover writing. You can find Part I here.

Friday: Speculative fiction author Dale Cozort


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've had to defrag many a computer.
It is about balance. There are some things that become clutter that take over. And the only way to restore balance is to clean house.
Sometimes I just say I'm done and I hit delete. It's all in just making a decision.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've been de-cluttering my computer and my house. There's so much I don't need or use. And I know once I finish it will free up time for the priorities that are important to me.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

When I transitioned to writing full time, I had to figure out how to defrag my time, too. Supposedly, I had more time to write, but somehow I got less done. Working full time, managing a family, and writing had previously all found their optimal timeslots. Now I had to recalculate everything.

~Sia McKye~ said...

ALEX, I bet you have defragged many a computer. And yes,clutter does take over both on the computer and in life. Once you make the decision it helps.

NATALIE--That's where I'm at. Decluttering both my house and computer. Once I sort it out and the computer is the easy part, my environment will be more conducive to tackling the things important to me. :-)

DIANNE--discontinuing one set pattern for another unravels our sense of organization. I've found the same--getting less done. You almost feel lost when you have to recalulate.

Kat Sheridan said...

I love the concept of defragging my life! Right now my house is a contstruction mess, but I'm hoping that when my new office is complete, I can defrag and declutter as I move from the makeshift space in the dining room to a real office space.

A Beer For The Shower said...

As a full time writer that sits at home all day, I just need to defrag my house on a regular basis. Living in clutter kills my creativity. I'm infinitely more productive when I'm in a clean, simple environment.

Also, I'm scared to look at my old Yahoo e-mail account. I just stopped using that one, and I figure by now it has more junk e-mails than my clicking-finger is capable of deleting.

Karen Walker said...

Hmm, I've never heard the term defragging. But I like the concept. I tend to reflect on my life quite frequently and set priorities, especially as I am growing older.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I took a morning just to unsubscribe to things and could spend another week and still be getting more junk than I want.

I have watched my computer defrag- how boring am I? We could all use a good defragging every now and then (Is it just me, or does that sound a little dirty?)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Although I do not believe in astrology, my sign is Libra, the scales -- and my believing friends say I am the Uber-Libran. Well, I am uber-something at least!

I used to take inventory at night at my first job. I thought then and now that we all need to do that in our own lives as well. What is selling (working) and what is piling up (not working.)

I hope you recover enough space to give your spirit breathing room! Have a great new week!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Kat--I hope so too, for your sake. I'm imagining you in your nice clean office. :-)

Bryan--I hear you! I can't do anything creative with a mess surrounding me. I can't remember the last time I looked at Yahoo--if I even have an account left there. I stopped using it when it seemed that yahoo was the favorite site to hack.

KAREN-- reflection is always good imo. :-)

ELIZABETH--I'm not sure about boring but it was fascinating to watch the process and leave and come back to see lots of progress. :-) I'm laughing. A lot, over your comment on defragging sounds a little dirty.

ROLAND--I'm a Libra too (on the Chinese side I'm a dragon, lol!). I don't pay a lot of attention to astrology--I know there are parts of it that seem right on. Being balanced is one of those areas. :-) Hey, I'm looking forward to some breathing time.

Bish Denham said...

I love this idea. As I get older I find I need to defrag STUFF. I've taken to getting rid of one something everyday. It is either something to throw out, send to the thrift store/give away, or recycle. It can be small or large, but it's a small way to help move "clutter" out of my life.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Here's the thing. IF I get one area of my life under control something else falls apart. My email is out of control at work and personal. Gee I wish I could defrag.

Jenni Enzor said...

I so agree about getting rid of the clutter, so you have room for other things you really value, whether it's your email box or your life. This is one of my goals this year, to be more mindful of my commitments, so I don't squeeze out what's most important to me and make my own writing a priority.

~Sia McKye~ said...

BISH--to make matters worse, I have a husband that likes *deals* and is forever bringing something home. My question is: what exactly do need this for? Oh, we'll find something. It was only $$___ or it was free. Isn't that cool? Um, no, unless we have a need for it you're just creating more clutter that you say you hate.

Like you, I'm getting rid of lots of STUFF. I've finally come to the conclusion, I need one of those big trash bins. I plan on dumping lot's of STUFF into that. I just want it GONE.

THERESA--nothing seems to stay status quo, dammit. My emails were merely a symptom. I have that under control but lots of other things aren't. Rather than overwhelm myself, I put on blinders and focus on one thing at a time. :-)

JENNI--exactly. I value my writing and a small list of other things. If I don't get rid of the unnecessary in my life, I will have no time for those things I really want to do. I've come to realize, if I don't value my writing who will? Half the time our friends and family don't see it as more than a dabbling hobby or something we do when bored. They have a whole list of things they feel is more important. I see those things with resentment. It's up to me to recover time to write. :-)

G. B. Miller said...

I have four e-mail accounts all together, of which three are basically junk mail/Amazon gatherers (GMail and two Yahoo). I have Hotmail for everything else.

As for defragging in order to get stuff done, about the only way I can actually do any kind of writing is to take a least a week off from work (staycation).

Which is what I did this week, and lo and behold, I was able to complete another round of edits for a novella I want to publish.

Father Nature's Corner

Yolanda Renee said...

Oh gosh, I've forgotten some email address. LOL Love the post. I too am trying to defrag my life, but it's not easy. I know what I want, it's getting there that's the difficult part, it's always so much easier to just keep the status quo! Need to change that, promised myself this year, I would! Good luck to you and me!

Sherry Ellis said...

Clutter can certainly accumulate quickly. Once a week, I defrag my computer and my house.

Stephanie Faris said...

I read a book by a financial advisor years ago that stated that if you want to bring more money into your life, you must first remove the clutter. It makes sense!

~Sia McKye~ said...

GB--YAY on a completed round of edits!

YOLANDA--Getting there is hard. One project at a time otherwise it's overwhelming and, in my case, it doesn't get done.

SHERRY--you're a better woman than me. I figure I can stay on the one project at a time task and once the clutter is gone I will keep it from happening again. It's amazing how well it was in control before the health issues. What's been done once can be done again. :-)

STEPHANIE--that does make sense. :-)