Thursday, January 19, 2012

Potential Sanity-Saving Links!

If you haven't read Anne Lamott, get yourself to the library or bookstore pronto! Her books about writing are some of the very best. She'll make you laugh, cry, and buoy up your writing life.After you read Bird by Bird, you will know in the deepest places of your soul if you are meant to be a writer or not.

I love this new piece of hers: Time Lost and Found.

This article also resonated greatly with me: The Joy of Quiet by Pico Iyer

I'm also currently reading the Writers and Poets current January/February issue. There is a section just for writers called "Inspiration" and I'm underlining stuff! Reading bits of articles before I go to bed at night.

Frank Bures' piece "Inner Space: Clearing Some Room for Inspiration", really resonated with me. It's like he READ MY MIND.This is stuff I've been feeling for at least a year now. Here's a snippet of what I underlined:

"I would sit down to research something and found I couldn't focus (or it takes 3 times longer than originally thought or planned). I started to feel overwhelmed, less and less able to control what I thought about. Online I would get a bizarre, Internet-induced amnesia, totally forgetting whatever I'd gone online for. I even wrote about the importance of getting offline, but found I was less and less able to simply do that . . ."

"I felt fragmented inside." YES! (That's me, Kimberley, in case you're wondering, hee, hee.)

In Creativity by Csikszentmihalti, he identified four major obstacles that keep people from creative accomplishment: psychic exhaustion, easy distraction, inability to protect/channel creative energy, and not knowing what to do with that energy.

Frank Bures: "Online, I would stay in open and curious mode for far too long, and it was getting harder to transition to the ruthless single-mindedness I needed to get anything done."

" . . . the ability to control one's attention is perhaps the single most important quality of the creative mind . . . I felt I was living in a constant state of "continuous partial attention", never fully tuned in to anything, but always partially tuned in to everything."


Here's the issue if you want to find it:

***2012 is a year I want to take my life back. I want to feel more in control each day. I know it's going to be difficult, and I have to change the way I look at each day and my actions from the moment I crawl out of bed and stagger to the computer each morning.

1. I want more time for reading, pondering, praying.

2. I want to spend more time just being with and enjoying my family instead of constantly distracted.

3. I want more time to give service. (I'm hoping to begin a weekly half day spent helping tutor kids who need help with their reading through Albuquerque Reads program.)

4. I also have more writing/work to accomplish than I ever have before in my life so I'm feeling like taking control of my life is really critical for me. I'm under contract for 5 books that need to be written and taken through the editorial revision and production process. And then two book launches per year beginning in 2013! Yikes! Whew! Scary! Exciting!

But I also want to keep up with my dear, online writer friends, too. You have all helped me, given encouragement and advice as I read your blogs, cheered me on, and made me feel connected in the writing world, and that is priceless, too.

It's the hours of Online Coma that I want to get rid of!

I'm curious what your daily schedule is like. The most problematic days for me are when I have a lot of appts and errands to be run and then there's no time left for writing and reading. I'm also thinking I may have to give up a few other things that take tons of time and I have nothing substantial to show for it afterward. Thinking on this . . .


Karlene said...

Problem time: after 2 pm. I just run out of steam.

Good post. I have Bird by Bird but I've never read it. I'm putting it by my bed.

Anonymous said...

You are so generous with on-line firends. And your day helps inspire me to get through mine.

Today is filled with landscapers, a cleaning person (helping me), my mom arrives from out of town in 2 hours, I have at least 7 chapters to rewrite and a pitch letter to create by February 4th. I've set a meeting up with an editor to help me with my typos and mismatched tenses.

I totally agree that the most difficult part is getting my mind back at to the writing. I so desperately want one of those days where pages and ideas flow. The past week has been a battle with my butt. As in - get your butt back in your chair and write!

Anne Lamont's Burd by Bird and Janet Burroway's Writing Fiction have a permanent spot on my desk.

Thanks for sharing your struggles too. Mind if I post this on my blog this week?

Augusta Scattergood said...

Just what I needed to read today. Sanity and inspiration= good things.

Was about to fall into that coma you describe. I will now sign off and take a walk. Bless you for giving me that thought and that permission.

Rebecca Donnelly said...

Thanks for those links--why is it that we need constant reminders to slow down & take it easy? And so many of those remnders come via the internet, ha ha.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Karlene, pooping out after 2 p.m. - LOL! I hear ya . . .

Holly, oh my gosh, thank you so much! You are the best! Sounds like you've got tons going on and tons to accomplish in the next two weeks. My revision is due back to my editor by Feb 1 and I have 90% of it left to do! And I haven't read Burroway's book before, must find it!

Augusta: LOL on the"falling into the coma". A walk sounds lovely. It's a bit too cold here though for me to walk. And I feel blessed to know you! Thank you.

Rebecca - I know! Isn't that funny? I've read some good articles from links through blogs and FB though so I do like that aspect of it!

Shallee said...

Wow, sounds like you're a busy girl! I hope you can find a way to bring more zen and productivity in. I think we all need that. Thanks for these links-- this is something I've wanted to do in my own life, too!



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