My Drug of Choice

She relaxes the whole wayOver the weekend, I finished my revisions on my novel, and tomorrow, Jeff and I will be arriving back in DC, the blue green ocean of southern Florida retreating behind us and the prospect of a busy fall ahead of us. I always have such mixed emotions about coming home after our summers away. In Naples, I live the better part of my days in the world of my novel, whether its writing or, this summer, revising it, so on entering the city again, with all its distractions (many of which I’ve missed), I feel sad to leave, not only the beautiful ocean, but also that intense and productive time I’ve spent working on my writing.

On horizon, I have to prepare for school, launch my web site, and send my novel to agents. All of this seems intimidating, because very soon, I’ll have to begin that stressful balancing act that my life becomes during the school year. I’m wondering how I’m going to blog, teach, search for agents, exercise, etc . . . while still finding time to breathe. I find that more and more I crave time to indulge in free thought or daydream during the school year. It’s always go go go, and although it can be productive, it eats at you and your creativity. I believe that the workaholic mentality, which our culture reenforces again and again, is damaging. Unfortunately, it’s my drug of choice, and it becomes harder to resist that compulsion during the school year.

I’m not sure I have a solution for this. Often when I mention it to someone, they just smile and say, you just need to make time for yourself. Excuse me, but you can’t “make time.” It’s not something you just whip-up in the kitchen. When I get home tonight after I finishing grading papers and paying bills, I’ll just throw together some time out of leftovers from the fridge. No, when people advise making time, what they really mean is, something has to give. So, since I’m not willing to give up any of my endeavors, particularly those involving the people I love and my writing, the only solution I’ve come up with, other than being organized (which I am most of the time), is to trim a little time here and there and to except that I can’t always to everything I want to do as well as I want to do it AND do it all. It just ain’t possible.



Filed under Marketing You and Your Work, Revising and Writing Process

2 responses to “My Drug of Choice

  1. Dennis

    Breathing is overrated.

    Didn’t you go to a talk at Davidson where Styron lamented the Puritan work ethic that the school had instilled? Maybe he, too, thought that work-worship would kill creativity.

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