Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why I can't write

This seems to be the year of distractions.
I don't know what it is that some years you can achieve so much and other years it's just one distraction after another that blocks your vision, hampers your creativity and manages to force one's writing onto the back burner. 
I love writing.  Stories, relationship advice, I love it.  But this year it is a struggle and just isn't happening for me.
My youngest daughter will tell you, I'm addicted to research.  Mention something I don't know and I have an obsessive compulsion to find out all I can about it.  This means that my time on my laptop is ill-spent researching trivial bits and pieces that mean nothing to anybody just to satisfy some weird urge I have to acquire useless knowledge about random subjects.  It's a huge time-waster that I can't get control of.  An addiction I don't seem quite ready to give up.
During my recovery time after another bout with breast cancer, I should have been able to use that time to write.  Instead, I became completely obsessed with researching my roots.  I did find out some scandalous stuff but seriously, what can I actually do with that information?  How useful is it?  If I am honest with myself then it is just another waste of my time and time is very precious to me.
Being an armchair sports fanatic, a year of world cups is the worst possible thing for me.  First the cricket world cup consumed my weekends and killed my writing.  Now it's the rugby world cup and as a die-hard Springbok supporter I find it of the utmost importance to my sanity and psyche to compulsively read every bit of news about the Springboks and their world cup bid written in every blog and newspaper around the world.  Weekends are taken up with rugby-watching and it's very hard to focus on anything else.  Even planning an October getaway and December holiday has been pushed aside.  I have a one-track mind and it's not about sex.  Rugby, that's all I can think about at present.  I try and avoid conversations with people as I instinctively try and turn the conversations around to rugby and the Springboks chances in this world cup.  This is sad.
I have two books I should be working on.  Redesigning yourself for the multi-tasking generation which I'm co-writing with Jeremy Sherr, and C U @ 8, a novel I'm quite excited about.  I've promised myself that after the world cup, these books will get my full attention.  But there's always something else, isn't there?
Marketing.  The bain of my life.  Indie authors have to spend a lot of time marketing, especially if you want to enjoy the successes which come with increased sales.  Marketing is time-consuming, and at the moment is compartmentalised with watching E!  I can do both at the same time.  However, I do not spend nearly enough time on marketing.
Parenting takes time if you are a single-parent.  Your children expect you to talk and interact with them, fetch and carry them, all of which makes inroads on your time.  And if you just agree with them or pretend to listen, they have this nasty habit of taking your inattention personally, and throwing it back at you when you need their support.
And last of all is my job.  A huge distraction as I have to go to work during the week.  Because you receive a salary, the expectation is that you'll put in the hours and do the work.  Unfortunately, I do love my job so feel this compulsion to do the extra yards and go the extra mile.  If only I had a horrible job and didn't have to work.  Now if I could just make the time for marketing, to get the sales to supplement my income, then maybe...?  With one more child to go to university and finish school, retiring to write is not an option for a good few years.
My goal for this week is to manage my time and make the time to write.  It's what I'm passionate about (besides the rugby) so it stands to reason that I should make the time to follow my passion.
Have a good week.

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