Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My mannequin, Jane, wearing a Billy Travilla gown designed for Marylin Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Sold to a collector in Hong Kong, 2004.



For several years I wrote stories, worked full time, worked on my house and garden, and ran a business online buying and selling vintage designer wear. My business, Studio 85, was quite successful, and I made lots of money and lots of friends while scouring for finds, researching obscure designers and matching up some rather fabulous items with the right owners.

I managed to do this evenings and weekends, while writing in the early mornings. I still did lots of other normal things: cooking, taking care of my pets, reading, watching TV and movies, going out to all kinds of gardens, events, parties, lunches and shopping – you name it.

But now I find a full time job and a bit of writing are about all I can manage these days.

What happened? When it came time to make the hard choices, I let the business go dormant. I chose a regular job with benefits over the excitement of my own business. I chose writing over gardening and have watched my garden become someone else's passion. I made these choices without giving them a lot of thought. I just cut back on things, thinking I had less time to pursue them.

But here's the really weird part: I have just as much time now as I always had.

It's not the time that has slipped away – it's the energy, the inclination, and to a certain sad degree, the physical ability.

So maybe it's time to think about how these kinds of choices can be thoughtless excursions or thoughtfully made decisions.

Don't let your writing become a casualty of your energy or a casualty of your interest. Make your writing choices with your eyes open and a deep breath. Take care of yourself. There's more to this trip than just today, and what you do today can be reflected by what you become tomorrow. Be a writer. Write.


My desk at work after a 2-week absence. With all the familiarity of home, it sat there as I left it last year, the chair waiting for me, the email full and the message light on the phone blinking like crazy.

The strawberry fields on the way to work this morning, little plants already set out, anticipating the warm February and ripe berries by March.
That last package of my favorite instant soup in the cupboard – I can't wait to have it!


Sonnjea B said...

I've read that not consciously making a choice is still making the choice. For this year, I want to be more aware of the choices I'm making and not just allow things to fall by the wayside without consideration. I have the "time" issue as well - strange for a person who doesn't have a job; seems like if there's one thing I have, it MUST be time. And yet...

Word Imp said...

Yes. time, time, time. If I only had time. Sounds suspiciously like a song. Very interesting to read your post. Food for thought. I find being a mother the hardest thing to work around when I'm trying to fit in blogging, writing, teaching, housework, gardening, thinking up new creative ideas all the time, etc. All the best for a successful 2007.

writtenwyrdd said...

With my present job, I have little free time, and I have deliberately resisted any crafts or hobbies that are not writing. I haven't painted, quilted or done needlework for about three years now. And I still have a hard time getting any writing time in.

One wonders where the time does go. It is easy to let it dribble like sand through our fingers.

And I think you are right, it is a lessening of energy and enthusiasm. I have been trying to make writing a conscious choice, but it can still be a struggle against subconscious inclinations.

Where is the therapist when you need her? LOL.

Bernita said...

Your post also makes me think of an old song.
"Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine/
I'll taste your strawberries/I'll drink your sweet wine.."

Literary Fiction Writer said...

Free time is a relative thing, and you are wise to focus on the topic.

For me it is a timely and wise focus as well. I recently discovered that a former member of a crit group I used to belong to has died. She was an enormously talented writer, and I was stunned to learn of her death. She was only 52.,1886,AND_8203_5105824,00.html

I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit that her death will have a huge impact on how I manage my writing time this year.

Kate Thornton said...

Time - it's not the enemy, it's our lives.

Thank you all for responding - Life can be so unexpectedly short that our use of time is precious and important.

I'm making *myself* think about this more!