Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oops! Let's blame it on a time rift...

Oh... I am so sorry!  I was sitting here thinking about everything I need to finish and the pile of tasks that must be started... when I noticed it had been nine months since my last blog!  O.o  What happened?!  I had a notebook full of future entries - some completed, many drafts - yet they never made it beyond paper.

Simple truth:  I forgot.  Yes.  I admit it.  I forgot that my last blog was in May 2013 and I was supposed to keep adding new material.  I was distracted by other things... some may have been shiny.  (Note: this is why I don't have pets.  Not that any animals have been harmed through my neglect, but I preemptively avoid the ill fated situation entirely.)

I know, some may ask "But Don... doesn't the Blogger page send you reminders?"  Well... yes, it did.  I had gotten a new phone, though.  I installed all my old apps (including Blogger and Gmail).  I just sort of, kinda, actually forgot to log into the apps.  I have nine months of unread email, also.  Probably should add that to my to-do list...

The irony is that I had intended to blog about Time Management last June.  Of course, I would be risking a moment of hypocrisy if I followed the planned route..... or is it salvageable?

Thing is, I was managing my time quite efficiently for the past nine months... in regards to writing.  As my schedule involves seventy hours of driving each week and a troublesome need of sleep, I have been trying to squeeze out every possible minute of available writing time I could find.  (Forgetting my blog will now be shoved into the 'Task Organization' blog - due to arrive within the next 7-270 days.)

~Time Management: the day is only so long.~

Believe me, I feel your pain.  Everyone has to deal with an endless demand on their time.  Work.  Study.  Cook.  Eat.  Clean.  Kids.  Friends.  Family.  Pets.  Bills.  Sleep.  Work, again!  Every day is filled beyond capacity and tomorrow will surely be worse.  Finding time to create is often pushed aside as being trivial. 
The question:  Is your creativity trivial?

If you answered Yes, then why do you worry about finding time?  Because it matters.  Creating - be it art, writing, music - isn't about fame or acceptance or recognition.  Creativity is part of your being begging to be realized.  Your creations are outward expressions of inward thoughts, desires, fears and dreams.  Sometimes an idea becomes so important that you must see it, feel it or hear it in order to find peace.

But who has the time?  We can't all just sit at home and dedicate our entire existence in pursuit of creativity.  We have responsibilities.  Instead, let me list a few tips that I have found especially useful:

- Run the marathon one-block-at-a-time:  you may feel like you aren't accomplishing your goal fast enough.  This can be frustrating, I know.  You can imagine the finished product, but it is so far away!  If writing, it is all too easy to look down at the word count and think "Is that all I've done?!  I'll never finish at this rate."   DON'T QUIT NOW!  Rarely is anything great created overnight.  A single hour here and there will soon add up.  The goal is wonderful, but don't give up because the journey seems endless.

- Fight the urge for progressive perfection:  this can be very hard to do.  I have found myself proofreading my work while trying to move forward.  This tactic doesn't end well.  My spelling is horrendous and my grammar would shock a preschooler.  The best thing you can do is continue to move forward.  Once you have finished, then you can examine your work and make adjustments.  It is much easier to correct a draft than trying to knock out a clean, finished product in a single go.

- Waste not, want not:  throw nothing away.  You may find yourself with ideas that are ill-suited for your current project.  Save those ideas!  They will come in handy later on - either in your current piece or future works.

- Friend or enemy: a major time consumer is the desire to create something that others will like.  It is easy to get lost in thoughts pertaining to future spectators.  You can't please everyone, nor should you try.  In fact, I suggest you forget about pleasing anyone.  There will always be someone who 'knows a better way'.  If they have a better idea, ask them to create it so you can see.  Lovers of creative materials are very notional.  Create for yourself.  Should you decide to share your gift with others, they will either love it or hate it.  Nothing you do will change this.  So long as you are happy, then you have crafted a masterpiece.

Well my friends, it is time for me to sleep.  A long night of work approaches too quickly.  As always: comments, suggestions, complaints, or random thoughts are always welcome.

Special note:  I have placed a reminder in four different devices as well as on the paper calendar to remind to post.  Feel free to throw hard objects in my general direction... should I forget.

'Til Paths Meet Again...