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