Monday, June 13, 2011

Finding Inner Zen...

Summer's in full swing (meaning the garden is growing and I'm getting tan), I'm finally warm and happy, and what I consider "the conference season" has officially begun. Next weekend, some of us (Vicki, myself, and a new recruit to our critique group) are off to the amazing and fantastical land of Crested Butte (sounds like 'Ute,' not like 'butt.') for a writers' conference there (where I'll finally find out what the final judge of the romance category thought of "Love? Please!" Woot, woot!!).
And it's going to be amazing. A small, intimate conference with top notch editors and agents, and not nearly the numbers of other writers to have to fight like a bunch of ravens after the last meaty bone on roadkill for time with those editors and agents. Plus, one day will be almost completely devoted to writing, reading, renewing my inner Zen...
Oh, I cannot wait!
But with the on-coming frenzy of summer (and whatever busy things that means for you) sometimes the important things get buried under the manure of the little details. For me, writing gets buried under my family's priorities (you know the "country jam is next weekend and we're not ready." Or "mom, I need you to take me driving or I'll never get my license." And yes, she is 17 going on 18. But she's the slacker, not me.)
Now, I'm not complaining about my family being busy or needing me (because a)I created that monster, and b)I enjoy feeling needed); but sometimes I lose my priorities.
When I lose my way, I ask directions.
So I'm asking...
How do you refocus your priorities when life gets hectic?


  1. That's the big problem in my life -- there seem to be altogether too many things that need doing, and too many of them at the same time! I make lists, and sometimes that works, and I try to draw up a mental order-of-business at night for the next day, and sometimes that works -- and then, far too often, something else that I never predicted comes up and I spend hours doing something else altogether!

  2. Marne,

    When life gets in they way (like lately) I do a couple of things to refocus. First, I clean out my office. I hate clutter and my home office is often the dumping ground for whatever my family can't find a place for. :)

    Sometimes, I take a weekend away and just write. But if I'm desperate, I load up my IPod with tunes that remind me of my WIP, then listen as I drive to the nearest beach.

    With the waves lapping at the shore, I can find my inner peace and just write.

  3. LOL...
    I want a beach! I might just head your way, my Mess-ie friend ;-)
    And mom , I totally hear the list thing. I try to make lists to refocus myself. Sometimes, it's a matter of just going out and watering the garden (as long as the kids don't follow). Sometimes just standing outside, listening to the birds while I water and fuss with my plants is enough to get the story going in my head again. And I don't know about you ladies, but I am happiest when my stories are so loud I can't hear the interruptions...

  4. I want a beach too...The year I divorced I went to the Oregon coast, sat on the beach, and fell asleep. Woke up recharged and ready.

    I don't have family nipping at my heals. A hectic job and a busy husband, so I can't say home gets in my way.

    I get in my own way. But usually putting off writing means I have too much on my plate and need to prioritize and just finish something.

  5. Hey Marne! I don't get to go to the beach, even though it's 90 minutes away. The very idea of sand between my toes makes me nuts, and I won't get to focus at all. Ugh!

    Just last night, Hubby cranked up "Enterprise" as I was trying to edit. It was dinner time so the best I could do for a getaway was walking into the kitchen to start dinner and let the story recharge in my head. Crazy as it sounds, it works; distracting myself with something tedious opens up that other side of my brain. I can hear the voices again.

    If dinner's over, though, I do like JS does and plant the iPod in my ears and face the computer screen. That helps keep my head in the mood. Unless CeeLo comes on, and then all bets are off. :-)

  6. I write when I get stuck. But not my MS. I write about what is bugging me. Either a letter (undeliverable, of course!) to the person plaguing my thoughts or a paragraph about my excitement. I do it until it's out of my system. And then I write again...but this time my MS. ;)

  7. That's a big problem for me too. What I've learned is to grab the small periods when there is time. Of course, it can't be too early because my brain doesn't work. LOL
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  8. Wow, ladies! Isn't it crazy how everyone has a different method of coming to their inner peace? Crazy right? Myself? I'm learning how to meditate (and it's kind of wild and fun in a very calm way...).
    Thanks everyone, for sharing with us how you get back to where you can write when life gets in the way.