Thursday, January 28, 2010

To Write or Not To Write, or How Do You Manage Your Time?

by Carol Bindel

I was feeling really lonely Monday, for mysterious, still undefined reasons. It is strange to be in this place, in this winter time, when there is no work pressing hard on me, where the structure of my day is more up to me to create anew each morning, to create a daily schedule out of the thin air, out of the passing minutes, than at any other season. In other seasons, after all, I have assigned myself to care for this property, as best as I can, chosen that "job," and that has its own structure and rhythm that I then follow. But Monday it rained hard, so I didn't even spend my normal hour walking out in the world. What was I to do with myself?

Over the past years I have been intentionally emptying activities (and thereby people) from my life in order to find that place where I am strong enough to carry my commitments. And now I find the hours looking at me, empty-eyed. I have this time-space within which I can see so clearly that all the structure is up to me. What will I do with my energy/time, my energy time?

I believe this is how it always is. The structure is always up to us. We just don't see that, with all the covering commitments-- the job, the family, the church-- that usually hold and keep us. Held tight in the structures we have agreed to, that we have created, held by the structures that then hold our lives, totally. All our joy and sorrow, all our knowing and sharing-- all held within the structure of whatever lives we create. I am puzzling over this.

And I am wondering about my writing. So I made a list: Reasons Not to Write. It was and is a good list. Of course, I AM a writer. An introvert by nature, yet with ordinary needs for companionship and human sharing, I love words as a form of communication. So I have, indeed, been writing letters and emails and journal entries. I need competing lists, to write vs. not to write. And do I have reason to write for publication?

I am puzzling; I am a perfectly fitted piece of the puzzle. So are you. We are different; we are the same. I want to write, I don't want to write. All true. The world as paradox. Am I paralyzed by paradox?

How do you structure and fill your days? What criteria guides your action or non-action? Why do you write? How do you value your own writing, if it goes without remuneration? How do you structure and include it, or not, in your day? Is publication and payment the ultimate goal? How do YOU settle these questions?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Carol said...

One friend who journals but does not consider herself a writer said,
I love the idea that we fill our time with "created" activity - it does take on a creative essence that kind of sneaks up on you - I believe that is what "they" are talking about when they say we find our "being" -or ourselves.

Another said she starts every morning with quiet time, making a list of things she is thankful for, of the gifts in her life, starting with the awareness that she has been given another day of life. She asks, then, how am I receiving the gifts offered? What shall I do with this gift of life? Etc. And she ends with who shall I love today, and how?

So, anyone here willing to share ways of arranging a day?

Christina Adams said...

I am going to start looking at what I fill my time as something I have chosen to do. So often I feel like there are things I have to do, but once I get them done then I can do the things I want. Then I get angry at the things I have to do because of how much they consume my time, yet I was the one who chose to do them anyway. I need to take more responsibility for my own decisions. Good post!