Monday, April 27, 2009

First things, First

I've never been very good at prioritizing. My problem is that to me, everything is important. Although I am a list-maker, there are so many things I want to do that I have a really tough time crossing off my list or placing one thing on top of the other.

OK, there are some things that are meant to be a priority - like spending time with God. This should always be the first thing on my list. I try to be consistent with this one but, I'll admit, sometimes I fall short. In fact, sometimes, spending time with God falls way down the list and once in a while, I don't get to it at all. OK, "don't get to it" isn't the right term. More like, "choose not to." Sometimes I can't even believe they let me in church.

Another thing that should be at the top of the list (right below God) is my family. Unfortunately, I'm not always successful at this one either. I think of how many times I've put off my daughter when she's asked to play or how often I put my work before spending time with my son. It makes me sad to think about the moments I've missed out on because I didn't make my family the priority it should be.

When it comes to writing, I have a dilema. My passion is fiction and there is nothing I want more than to be a published novelist. But then there is that little thing called money. I don't get paid for working on my novel (at least, not yet). I DO get paid for working on other things - like non-fiction. Like message board moderating. Like greeting card writing.

So...although I want desperately to prioritize my fiction above my other writing, I can't. At least, not if I want my daughter to still play the drums, both of my kids to play sports, get hot lunch and wear cool clothes. And not if I want to continue being able to go to the movies or out to lunch with a friend any time I want.

And there we have it: I guess my priority is "stuff" over "desire to be published."

I know there will come a day when I'll be able to devote more time to my fiction. And maybe I just need to better manage my time (Hey, I don't call myself the Distraction Diva for nothing). But, for now, I'm lining up my priorities this way:
  • God
  • Family
  • Making money
  • Novel

It about kills me to see Novel at the bottom of that list. I just have to face the fact that becoming a published novelist may take me a little longer than I'd like. My patience is not very happy about that.


I do believe that if I keep God at the top of my priority list, everything else will fall into place.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. " - Matthew 6:33 (NIV)


Dara said...

I know I would like nothing better than to be at home working on my novel.

Alas, the bills must be paid :P Even though hubby and I pretty much live off of his earnings, mine goes into savings for things like real estate taxes and vacations.

So my list probably resembles yours exactly :)

I am glad I only work part time though--it does give me time when I get home to work on the novel (which I haven't done like I should) and during the slow times in the office, I can do a little bit of story crafting.

trainsnboatsnplanes said...

When I read your blog I had a sense of deja vu, as I was just thinking this morning that there is so much to write and so little time...hard to stop everything going round in your head and looking vacantly at people as you have a hot idea demanding attention...yes, prioritise...

David Wagner said...

You should probably gather together all of your lists, and make a list of lists... :P

I'm pretty much a "squeaky wheel" type person myself, unfortunately. If my novel-in-progress would just squeak louder, I would write more! One of my problems is, I have a hard time with moderation. I either go 100% into something, or pull 100% out of it as I go into something else full bore. If I could just set aside an hour - or even a half-hour - a day to tinker with my novel, I would have been long done by now. Instead, I feel like I need to dive in, hours a day, to get anything done... and I can't make myself do that.

I am writing in my blog every day, though. I though that would inspire me to work on my novel more, but I've found it has taken it's place instead. It has become my outlet for creative expression, for better or worse.

So instead of feeling bad about the stagnating novel, I have resigned myself to simply waiting for the fire to flare up in me again, at which time I will work like crazy on it again, like in the beginning.

Anyway, I'm rambling, sorry. Nice post.