So now that I’ve been back in “writer mode” for a bit I’m falling into the writer’s mindset again. Just about everything in life is an opportunity for reflection, even some of the most mundane things. But isn’t mundanity somewhat subjective? I feel myself wanting to write about these things, to extrapolate on them primarily, to some end that might not be obvious. I feel compelled to write something down, that transference from the brain to written word so important.
The enemies of this process-at least for me-are lack of time and distraction. The real conundrum though is when the lack of time and the distractions are spawned of one’s own choosing. For instance, my lack of time and my distractions come from my work and my family, primarily. In the case of my family I chose that, I continue to choose it, and have no regrets about choosing this distraction. They force me to interact with other humans, they keep me from becoming a recluse or a digitized version of a real person. They provide me with real life, with experience, and with feelings I’ve never had before.
In other words, in so many ways they’re actually my muse.
So it’s a bit ironic that they happen to be one of the biggest time vampires I have. But couldn’t I say that about sleep? I spend vast amounts of time asleep (well, maybe not vast but normally four to six hours a day) but I need that sleep to survive. I spend at least a couple hours preparing meals and eating because I need food to survive. Work takes up ten hours out of my day, once you include preparation time and drive time. That doesn’t include overtime. I also waste excessive amounts of time on drivel, on useless consumption of nonsense that allows me to turn my higher brain off for a bit and “zone out”, for lack of a better term.
The reason I singled out my family is because it’s a relatively new thing for me. As I’ve grown up my responsibilities have increased because I’ve chose to accept more of them. The kids have only been around for four years or so and they take up a lot of time. As a result they hog the spotlight because I’m so used to my old distractions that I hardly consider them anymore.
The point of all this is time management. I’m admittedly terrible at time management. My wife, on the other hand, is unbelievably proficient at managing her time, as well as everyone else’s. I think instead of focusing on a particular distraction or maybe the latest distraction it’s more beneficial to step back and look at all the distractions, even the old ones. Once one objectively examines these things the wasted time should jump out. The hours spent surfing the web for meaningless drivel, watching television you really don’t care about it, or just plain “zoning out”, will be apparent. Not that any of this is in and of itself bad, it’s just that as a writer, as a creator, as someone who is driven to take the time to make something that didn’t exist before, those things have to be managed so as to not excessively impede the creative process. That’s assuming, of course, that the creative process has value.
So as my estranged writer’s mindset and I become reacquainted, we’ve found ourselves in difference circumstances than we parted on ten years ago. Work is harder and more time consuming, and the family is the focus of my life. That doesn’t mean we can’t still have a relationship, it just means we need to budget the time better.
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