Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. You know who you are and why you deserve recognition. And for those of you who struggle on this day because your dad wasn’t wonderful, please know you are not alone. Do something today to make it special for you – something you wish your father had done with and for you.
I was going to post the following yesterday but time slipped away on me, which seems fitting, doesn’t it?
Dr Stephen Covey made popular the matrix plotting how we spend our time: on urgent matters or important ones. As writers, it is easy to let life lead you away from the time we need to spend writing. After all, no one is dying for you to publish or sell your next book. And it is important to:
- fertilize the lawn
- pick up the puppy ‘presents’ in the back yard
- kill the dust bunnies under the bed
- dust the far reaches of the crystal chandelier you’ve always hated
- read one more blog or follow Facebook for a few more minutes.
(I am not playing games, really.)
The matrix asks us to consider all potential activities in terms of our long term goals.
Of course, this implies you know what your long term goals are. Do you know? What are they? (That’s a rhetorical question, but if you can’t make a list of them right now, they’re not clear enough.)
One of my long term goals is to be a multi-published, best selling author of both fiction and non-fiction. Hmmm. How am I doing at that? How about you? Where are you on the path to your dreams?
With all the focus on social media and promotion, I’ve spent a lot of time blogging and building a blogging community. I’ve loved every minute of it and every minute of getting to know so many of you. I’m honored at the details you’ve shared in comments, emails and phone calls. I’ve learned so much reading your blogs.
Ditto for all the other shiny social media tools out there.
But I’m not writing as much as I need to.
So I’ve made a decision to make my writing both Urgent and Important on the Covey matrix. That means I need to start paying more attention to the time I spend with my hands on the keyboard writing fiction.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but those ‘para-writing’ activities can take a lot of time. I need to accept my realities:
- I have a full time job that keeps me from being homeless
- I have family commitments I’m not willing to short change
- I need to walk and move this
- I need to write
- I need to edit
- I need to focus on my direction and goals
I haven’t been doing a particularly good job on any of those, except the second one. And I’m publicly committing right here and right now that this is going to change. I don’t feel great if I’m not creating. I don’t work as well if my creativity is clogged. I don’t rest as well when the words are jammed in my brain.
If I don’t get as many words on the page as I need to, my life seems to fall apart rather quickly. Hmmmm. I guess that makes me a writer. Go figure.
By the way, since I wrote this on Friday evening, I’ve edited 30 pages of my next novella and put down some notes about my next book, so public admissions and commitments seem to work.
What about you? Where are you on the matrix with your writing? What do you need to change to make sure you are in the quadrant that best serves you?