Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September IWSG and Belated Question of the Month

            Time for another posting with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts the first Wednesday of the month. The IWSG poses a question for us to answer in our monthly posts. Here is the question for September: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

            This question represents something I like about the IWSG, because it proposes a great way for us to share advice with one another. I look forward to reading as many posts as I can get to. But, you are probably here to read my answer, and honestly, I do not make very much time for writing on busy days. I usually squeeze it in around bedtime (when most of my ideas suddenly hit) and jot down a few senseless notes before dozing off. There were a couple times when I was being a little more proactive and recorded some of my thoughts on my phone as I drove to work. I’ve been listening to The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey, and I am beginning to see more and more that my problem is not a lack of time as much as it is a lack of energy. As an introvert working at a job designed for extroverts, I am feeling the energy drain more and more when I do not get time alone at home to recharge. When I actually do get a day off to myself, depending on how long I’ve gone without my recharge time, I can sometimes find my energy again which leads to writing motivation. I know sometimes, motivated or not, I just have to write, which I can do fairly well when I have a deadline, like a monthly blog post or an anthology contest. In an ideal energy situation, I would probably set about 30 minutes to an hour aside to write in the evenings before rewarding myself with a TV show or computer game. Speaking of technology, I often shut my computer down and write by hand because my computer is full of distractions and writing in a notebook helps me to focus better.

I missed the Question of the Month on Monday. I left for a conference the day that our host Michael G D’Agostino emailed the question and I did not see the question until posts went up. The question was: What kind of music best speaks to you?

I’m going to try to keep this answer condensed, it usually depends on my mood. My music collection is very eclectic, but most of it falls into three different genres: classical, Christian, or soundtracks/musicals. When I’m feeling sad, I like softer Christian artists like Selah or Casting Crowns. When I want something more upbeat, my favorite Christian bands are Audio Adrenaline and dc Talk. When I’m feeling reflective or need to be calmed, I enjoy classical music, and I shared many of my favorites during the A to Z Challenge this year. When I’m in the mood for some fun (or sing-a-longs in the car), I listen to my soundtracks. I own the movie soundtracks for Phantom of the Opera, The Music Man, Les Miserables, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and a collection of Disney songs.

*As Chris Bailey would ask, how do you balance your time, energy, and attention?
*Does your music vary with your mood?


  1. It would be hard if you are introverted to work the type of job you do that "demands" so much out of you with customer service, etc. I can see why that would be draining and also why you would need that recharge time. I like your variety of music that you enjoy listening to. I know in times of stress I need to listen to a lot of praise music, puts my mind in a better place :)


  2. Working a job that goes against your personality would be draining. Maybe a little scheduled quiet time every night followed by writing would help. Smart to use your phone to record ideas.
    Killswitch Engage is secular but their songs are all Christian. Probably a little heavy for your tastes...

  3. Maybe instead of "rewarding" yourself with TV or a computer game, you should start there. Let that unwind you and recharge you. Then you might be more in the right state of mind to write. Just a thought.

  4. I've also found notebooks to be the best way to get words on a page. I mean I never have to log onto a notebook, so I can get right to work by grabbing a pen.

  5. More often music will reflect my mood rather than influence how I feel. If I happen to hear music that is contrary to the way I feel I might feel more annoyed than anything.

    Writing can be pretty arbitrary for me. I might be in a mood where I must write while at other times I write because I should be writing so I do it as a sort of obligatory act. More often than not I just don't write.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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