Making Writing a Priority

Pat Davids here.

I can't seem to do it this month. I can't make writing a priority. Normally, that's not much of a problem for me, but this month it is. I don't have a single deadline hanging over my head at the moment. Deadlines for someone else, not my own, are strong motivators.

How do we keep writing high on our priority list? Why does it fall behind the laundry and then behind the dusting and finally behind Criminal Minds on some weekday night?

How do we put it at the front of the list and keep it there?

Isn't our writing important? Isn't it more than a hobby? Doesn't it deserve more respect than dusting?

What are your thoughts?


Starla Kaye said...

I have several deadlines hanging over my head at the moment, but I'm piddling around avoiding actually writing. It is so easy NOT to make writing a priority. Even tougher to get back to it when we play around.

I reach a small "burn out" period where I have to clean out writing research files (which I did today), clean house (which I detest), work in the garden (which I love but am bad at), etc.

I'm not sure we have to put writing at the front of the list all the time. I really think sometimes we need these "goof off" moments. They actually do help me settle back in...once I park myself at the keyboard again. My brain seems to function once again. And I certainly do take my writing seriously, not a hobby.

I'm hoping my brain kicks back in gear tomorrow. I know my editors would appreciate it.

Rox Delaney said...

Sometimes taking a break is a good idea, although it isn't advised when on a tight deadline. *grin*

I've found that long breaks (like a year) can be creativity killers, making it really, really hard to get back into writing. I always tried to keep writing during those long waits to hear back on a submission/proposal, but it didn't always work. Nor was my house any cleaner for it. ;)

Reading and/or watching movies can be good for filling the well. I know I don't have nearly the time I once did to read and often wish I did...especially as the TBR pile continues to grow.

Is there a happy medium between constant deadlines and long breaks with none? I'm not sure.

Becky A said...

Since I decided to write primarily for my enjoyment, I haven't had burnout. I occasionally get stuck so move on to editing, or something else, for a day or two. When I come back, I'm good to go. Sometimes my brain needs a break so I pull out a book and read for the fun of it and then I am refreshed for the next day of "work."

I suspect if I ever have an official deadline, burn out may be a bigger issue. Nothing sucks the life out of creativity like being forced to create. But I sure would like the opportunity to find out! :)

Rox Delaney said...

No burn out here, even though I was on deadlines from late July last year to late January this year. I didn't write much of anything for about 5 weeks, and now I'm back to several short deadlines. Those will come to a close shortly, but new deadlines are welcome.

Tired? Yes. Burned out? Not even close. :) I know what it's like to wait months and months to hear on a submission. I'd much rather be working on deadlines.

Here's hoping everyone gets a chance to experience "deadline hell." *grin*

Pat Davids said...

You are so right. Writing doesn't always have to be at the head of our priority list and when we are away from it, it's gets tougher to get back into the grind.

I'm just going to enjoy my kick-back period until next week and then I'm putting my nose back to the grindstone.

Pat Davids said...

I'm going to try very hard this round to write for my own enjoyment and forget the pressure of a deadline. Hopefully, I'll find my way back to the love I used to have for crafting my stories.

Penny Rader said...

I do get more written if I have a deadline. Otherwise I piddle around with all sorts of other stuff and before I know it months/years have gone by with little to show for it, writing-wise. I've learned the hard way that once I stop writing it's hard to get back into it. Guess I better set some deadlines for myself and figure out how to work reading time and tv time around them, instead of the other way around. ;D