Friday, April 8, 2011

A Collection of Friday Thoughts on Futility

It's Friday - Spring Break Friday - so it's one of those bittersweet days where I take stock of all the things that I didn't accomplish on this week off.  There's also quite a bit I DID do, but I'm neurotic so we're focusing on my failings today :)

I've discovered that if I take all the knitting projects I've got piled up, the books waiting for me to read them, the genealogy data I need to slog through.... my life is essentially claimed.  I mean the whole thing - no time for sleeping, eating, bathing, parenting, working or writing.  What this means is that I will die poor and stinky of exhaustion, but my friends will have hats for their babies, I will die well read, and I'll be able to say "Hey, I know you!" to my ancestors when I arrive in the afterlife.

So how do we balance these things, not only as writers, but as human beings?

Hobbies are awesome until we're no longer doing them for pleasure.  It's the process that's supposed to be enjoyable, not the end result.  Do I want to hate every stitch I make, but love the sweater?  Do I resent the time I put into reading, just to be able to say "I read that?"  Obviously no, if that's the approach, we've missed the point.

I think the same is true of writing.  If I sit down and I'm hating every word, or writing them only to fill in blank spaces, or hit that goal for the day - I don't think I'm accomplishing anything.  Sure, it's not just a hobby now, it's my career.  But it's a career by choice.  I do it because I'm incapable of NOT doing it, if that makes sense.  In other words, if the muse isn't talking today, I'm OK with that.

She'll be back :)

8 comments:

EEV said...

Balance - doing a bit today, another bit tomorrow... And enjoying it. You said it very well :)

- EEV

Anita said...

Great post as always, Mindy! And I love your philosophy. I think every writer needs a tshirt to that effect. "If the muse insn't talking, I'm cool w/that."

So, since you have nothing else to do, why don't you go get an acct on Etsy, make the tshirts, and get to selling them, girl! LOL

Good luck getting back into the swing next week. Until then, enjoy your final two days of freedom. Heh.

cherie said...

I so emphatize with you. Now that I'm blogging, I worry how I can fit all the other things in my life and be able to write as well. My kids are still fairly young and needy. There's only so many hours in the day. But, sometimes, some things have to give. For instance, I am ok having a messy house today so I can write. I promise myself I'll clean up tomorrow. I read while the kids are snacking, listen to audio books while doing laundry, get up earlier than usual so I can put in a couple hundred words or so. The key is balance and never beating yourself up for the things you DID NOT do-- there's always tomorrow. ;)

Mindy McGinnis said...

Ah yes ladies, the things that get away from us... to be honest, I haven't written in AWHILE! and I'm OK with that - I've had long periods of what I call "percolating" where I'm letting scenes set for a bit in the head - they seem to benefit from time away from paper :)

Thanks for dropping in!

Read my books; lose ten pounds! said...

Incapacle of not doing it. Thats how i feel. Very good!

sarah said...

I knitted over twenty scarfs. I thought about trying to stitch them into a sweater but didn't get that far.

I'm not so good with balance. I can't fathom putting time into cleaning my house when it will only get messy again. I only do the things I care about. If I didn't write there would be nothing to mark the passage of days.

Joyce Alton said...

One day at a time. One thing at a time. When you're a woman, you have to be good at juggling, right?

I totally get what you're saying about hobbies getting the flavor of chores. There are days I want to pull my hair out if it will grant me a few extra hours. And there are times when I have to sit back and say, okay Projects, X, Y, and Z I'm not even going to look at you today. You'll still be there tomorrow.

Mindy McGinnis said...

I tend to do everything in spurts - write, knit, clean - anything. I get super dedicated for a little bit one one thing, then I'm done. I'd say I'm aDD but I come back to it :)