Saturday, August 09, 2008

Lazy Day Links

During my time off from the blog, I had what my friend Marion calls an IFI, an incredible fucking insight. An epiphany. It has to do with my writing life. Before I got sick I was starting to become aware that I needed to find balance between writing and having a life. When you have no boss other than yourself, there's no one to blame for forcing you to sit at the computer all day. When you enjoy what you do, there seems to be no reason not to do it until you drop. But even as my own boss, doing a "job" I love, there needs to be limits.

For example. I used to write in the evenings or reread what I wrote earlier in the day or conduct research right before bed with the hope that I'd dream about my book in my sleep. My IFI is that I was programming myself to work in my sleep. Now, occasionally, to solve a particular problem in your work, this isn't a problem, but every night? My IFI is that sleep is for sleeping. Same with my "writing walks." Sometimes, ok. But every time, not good. I was really trying to live every moment of my life in service to writing. That is not in balance.

In the name of balance, I'm learning to not equate rest with laziness and laziness as a crime.

Here are a few enjoyable sites and/or interesting posts I've run across lately. Peruse at your leisure.

John Hershey is a garden-humor writer. His dandelion manifesto caught my eye in a local mag.
This blogger writes with humor about losing half her body weight (and of course got a book deal).
Speaking of humor, Bernie Mac, Rest in Peace. What About our Daughters has a brief, but powerful note that reminds us to live fully.
Condi hearts Denzel (wonder what Denzel thinks about that?). And approves of Thandie Newton playing her in a movie (who wouldn't?).
Sign up at Steven Barnes' website for daily tips on writing, publishing and living in balance.
July was hell on the yard, so I don't have any new garden porn. But go over to A Wrung Sponge for some easy-on-the-eyes garden pics and links to more!


Gina Black said...

Good post. I need to give myself permission to rest, too. (And I need to learn to rest somewhere besides the internet, cause I'm not really resting while I'm on it.)

Lisa said...

A good IFI is worth its weight in gold. Even though I'm not a full time writer (or any kind of paid writer), I get this. I am overwhelmed with guilt and a sense of worthlessness when I don't feel productive. The trouble is I always have way too many things that I want to do and the reaction when I'm overwhelmed is to get nothing done and really feel bad. I'm learning to prioritize (AGAIN). :)

Sustenance Scout said...

Oh ladies, we all need some good REAL R&R!

Carleen Brice said...

Lisa, I think it's a continual process. At least for me it's not something I do once and then I'm done.

Larramie said...

Definitely an epidemic is this "search for balance" between the Internet and IRL. May we all find our personal "cure."

emily said...

I just want to say I love your book! I just started today and am half way through it! I don't want to start back, b/c then it won't last! I found your book at the library and had no clue it was geared for african-americans and i think any daughter can really relate to this book! I can hardly wait to read your next book! I guess I will since it won't be out till next summer! I tried writing, it isn't easy! I did a blog, but no one came to read it! One day I will write that book! Thanks for the wonderful book!
from a typical southern girl!

Therese said...

I've been guilty of similar overwork--though in my case, my kids often provide a needed (and usually welcome) interruption/distraction from work.

The past couple of months on not actively writing has been restorative for me; now I'm overflowing with new ideas (but never enough time to accomplish it as quickly as I wish).

Balance is everything.

Shauna Roberts said...

Finding that balance is always a problem for me, too. Sometimes I get the same IFI, rearrange my life to create some balance, and gradually go back to focusing too much on work and tasks and leaving no time for solitude or rest. Then I have the same IFI, rearrange my life, (repeat ad infinitum).

Me said...


Thank you for this really important message. I needed to hear this as I am struggling myself to figure out how to heal and not feel guilty for not being able to do it all. I realize that if I'm going to enjoy my wonderful writing life, I best be alive to do so!

Lori T

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back on your blog! I too have learned that rest is not laziness. Rest is what makes you ten times more productive when go back to work.