I have happened to mention to a few people that I am working on writing a novel. (At the moment I’m ignoring the novel and bouncing between a novella, a short story, and something that I don’t know how long it’s going to be yet, but that’s another story.) And occasionally people say, I don’t know how you find the time! And although I know that as a stay at home Mom with three littles, yes I’m busy, but I have the same amount of time as everybody else – 24 hours, seven days a week – I do find that I don’t have as much time as I would like to be quiet and concentrate on what’s in my head.
I just finished reading a lovely blog post by Kristen Lamb on writers and organization, which had some really helpful ideas. You can find it here. I particularly appreciate this:
Yet, I have to say that just because something is our nature doesn’t mean that we are to be a victim to our innate shortcomings. In fact, Bob Mayer gives a wonderful exercise in his workshops. He says to look at our Myers-Briggs personality…then look at the opposite of our personality, and likely that is the area we need the most work.
I’m not big on personality tests – I don’t know what mine is except by experience, and that’s confusing enough without giving it an acronym – but I like the idea of looking at the opposite of my strengths to find my weak spots. Because I often feel that way, and feel a tiny bit stupid about it. You know, if only I could be the opposite of who I am right now, this and that and this problem would just go away. Well, probably not, but it’s encouraging to know that this could be a reasonable and possibly productive train of thought and not just pointless wallowing in self-pity.
I’m not sure I’m ready to apply this to my writing. I’m working on being less critical right now since I spent a few months not writing anything because I couldn’t make anything I was writing into what I wanted it to be. I will probably have to compensate by being more critical somewhere down the road, when I go back to thinking everything I write is wonderful and award-winning. BUT, I can see how focusing on other areas, (like paying more attention to how I use my time) could benefit from accepting that I have to put some extra effort into the areas I am weakest in, instead of pretending that my weaknesses don’t exist.