It’s been a busy month at home….

WritersWorkWe had some repair, we had a party, we had some social activism…. and we had some writing. Just nothing terribly visible at the moment. Ie, it ain’t done yet.

Ever have that feeling you’ve fenced yourself in so well with activities that you either can’t get to your desk to write, or you can’t get away from your desk to take care of other parts of your life? I know so  many writers with this problem or variants, I’ve lost track of their numbers the way people lose track of how many times they go to the grocery store. It’s part of the game, and the solution is balance.

Of  course, everyone is asking how you balance your life these days. We are all so overworked, over-scheduled, and overdone with it all.

The best thing I can recommend are: LISTS. I am a great lister. In fact, my kids have told me more than once that their most common memory of me is at the kitchen table (or at my desk or at the steering  wheel of my van) writing down or consulting a list. Things to do, things to buy, things to make, appointments to keep, stuff to fix. All the different lists of things and tasks that make up our lives. Christmas lists. Halloween & dance costume lists.

And then there were the lists for writing. Projects to work on, people to call, revisions to do, plot points, characters, settings, timelines (not a true list, but I often list scenes or plot points to get them in order). You get the picture.

What did I do with the lists? you ask. How did they help?

Well, some didn’t. Some became nags as days went by before I could complete the items on the list. Some, embarrassingly, I find years later stuffed in a tote bag or box, still unfinished and crying out at me for abandoning them. Some deserved to be abandoned. Others are proudly marked with checkmarks, cross-outs, and revisions and additions. Beautiful working lists that helped solve my problems and put order to my universe,

Now, I have found that I have to be careful of lists. If I don’t intentionally and purposefully keep them at hand to checkmark off what I accomplish, I am more likely to forget about them as well as everything I’ve put on them. Because sometimes, putting an item on a list convinces my mind that I took care of it.

Sometimes I think the beauty of the list is in the writing. By putting things down where I can see them, I eventually detect patterns and priorities and can order things by criteria that make sense to me. It’s a  matter of using a manual tool to assist a largely mental process.

So, it works or it does not work, but it’s my way of calming the whirlwinds and taming the chaos. Although, I’ve always felt a touch of chaos is a good thing.

What’s your favorite way of trying to organize?

 

Oops!

Oops. The first link to the Author Spotlight post  is no longer working. Here’s a revised one  (please try it):

Robin Minnack:The Mackinzie Wilder/Classic Boat Mysteries and more: author spotlight

Hey, lookie here!

Hi all,

I’ve had the honor of being interviewed by Marni Graff, author, editor, and blogger. She’s a writer whose style and skill I admire, so it means a lot to me that she wanted to ask about my books and my writing habits. You can find the interview (after midnight tonight, the 27th) and learn more for yourself at http://auntiemwrites.com/2018/07/27/robin-minnackthe…authorspotlight/

Announcement, announcement

I’ve just upgraded my site. You can now find me simply by using

https://findingrobinsstory.com

 

For at least a while, the old url will work, but the above is the new correct one.  Thanks for following!  I’ll be back soon.

…from My Hero

Quote

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“Whenever I have endured or accomplished some difficult task — such as watching television, going out socially or sleeping — I always look forward to rewarding myself with the small pleasure of getting back to my typewriter and writing something.”


“I write for the same reason I breathe … because if I didn’t, I would die.”

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”

 

All three of these quotes are from Isaac Asimov, writer of over 500 works in fields as diverse as science fact, science fiction, religion, and mystery. (Hmm, diverse but not unrelated.)

I can relate to all three of these statements, as well as the fact that Asimov was indeed a generalist.  If he wanted to write about something, he did.

And that’s the kind of writer I am.

What kind are you?  Do any of these quotes describe you and writing?

 

Respond.

 

A Little Thought Off-topic…

I initially wrote this about 5 weeks ago. In light of recent developments, I felt pressed to complete and post this personal statement.

I was re-reading the title of my previous post, Never Promise What You Can’t Deliver..., within the context of current headlines and social media.  It struck me that that is where America is now. We can’t deliver on any  of the promises we have made. Not the ones our Founding Fathers made, not the ones made by our recently past presidents (even ones I was not fond of), not the ones made by our social institutions, our education system, our health care system. None of us can deliver to our children the America whose image we held up to them in the past. We’re foundering. We have promises broken and promises yet unfulfilled.  There are NO CURRENT PROMISES WE CAN TRUST that will be helpful to any of us. And although they themselves don’t realize it, they will not even be helpful to the promisers.

In light of calls to action by so many, I had to wonder, what promises am I fulfilling? What am I doing to help? Not as much as I should. And so I recommit, to take the action of putting my talents to use to make this a better country and a better world. In our fears, purposely cultivated to keep our  eyes trained on them instead of on finding solutions, we have allowed ourselves to be paralyzed. No more.

We are here (whether by accident or design) to make this a better place for all who inhabit the planet. YES. Check your prejudices – and even your religions – at the door. We Are Here to Make this a BETTER PLACE for ALL. Because if it’s not better for some, it’s not better for anyone, and we will fail. No matter who or what you believe in, even if it’s nothing. Our job is to make  this a better place.

That is the promise we need to keep.

Think about it.