Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm Back

It's official, I'm back. I'm back but with self-imposed rules. Rules that can be clumped together under the title "Discipline." Discipline for many writers means writing and submitting in some kind of consistent way. In my case, discipline means cutting back on my writing and submitting schedule. I'm trying to slow down and really focus on the work, on process and craft.

In recent weeks, I was reminded of a lesson I've learned many times before, but one that I forget all too often: if my gut tells me something's wrong--I need to listen; if I'm not feeling happy then I need to step back and examine what's going on. My gut was saying "girl, you're getting too caught up with the "instant gratification" of online publishing. You need balance. You need to slow down." It's got to be about the work, first and foremost, about being honest with, and doing my best by, myself and my readers.

So I'm moving forward, determined to visit Twitter, Duotrope, Fictionaut, Zoetrope Virtual Studio, and my email account much less frequently (all fantastic places that I love, but time snatchers), and to write/rewrite for four hours each morning. After that, I plan to spend the remainder of each day living and giving to all the other wonderful areas of my life.

Just imagine if I was also on Facebook, all the time I'd have lost; I'm counting my blessings :-)


  1. YES!!!!

    I can so relate to this, Ethel. And maintaining balance is the key to honoring creativity.

    The best thing for me is to every once in a while is remind myself by whatever means I am not alone.

  2. (And how did I not know you were on Zoe?)

  3. Thanks so much, Katrina. Frankly, that's why I posted. I do think many writers, particularly flash fiction writers, will relate. I hope it might help us all not feel so alone, so "crazy."

    As for Zoe, I only joined a couple of months back and am mostly in the Flash Factory office and a couple of others, but I've pulled back in the last couple of weeks for all of the reasons cited above. A great, great place, though, full of terrific writers and people.

  4. One last thing to add to the list: write in Notepad or something which doesn't have Spell Check. Truly - spell check can be done after the fact, and it seriously interferes with the flow of things.

    Glad you're back.

  5. Thanks so much, DaviMack. I appreciate the tip and the welcome back. I hope you're managing to stay warm and dry over there. Brrrr!