Wow! You would think after reading Sam’s post that the two of us talked on the phone this morning and chose our topic together. With much regret I haven’t spoken to Sam since the ICRS convention in Denver. (Sam, did you get a lot of bargains that last day? Jodie, Ralph, & I did great though I cut myself off after only one handbag.)
Meanwhile back at the ranch, I need to report I had a great writing week last week, pumping out an impressive 25,000 words. If I managed that on a consistent basis, I could write a hefty first draft in 30 days. I know other writers do this without breaking a sweat. They must. Don’t you wonder how Nora Roberts and Debbie MacComber have several hundred books between them? Not me. But I keep a close eye on my numbers. I try to make myself accountable for a certain word count. If not, I wouldn’t get anything done. My housework would interfere. The weeds in the garden. My grandkids–three at last count. Doctor and hair appointments, and everything else that rob us of our time.
Sam, I happen to be one of those blessed few who does not work outside the home. My husband works third shift at a printing factory to keep me in the lap of luxury. I don’t have kids at home any longer so my days are basically mine to do with what I choose. So why don’t I have more 25,000 word weeks?
Discipline, that’s why–or should I say, the lack thereof. I allow the distractions of life to keep me from sitting at my computer and staying there until I reach my word count goal. I think it’s precisely because I have so much time that I think, “I’ll get to it later.” or “I didn’t have a good day today, so I’ll make up for it tomorrow.”
Alas, you can’t make up for lost time. Didn’t our parents tell us that a thousand times?
Don’t write to me and tell me I need to manage my time better. I know that. I know I need to get control of life’s distractions instead of letting them control me. It’s like losing weight. We all know the dynamics. Expend more calories than you take in. Simple, huh? So why is the world paying billions of dollars for books and diet aids and surgeries if all it takes is putting in less than you take out?
I’m obviously not the only one who doesn’t do what she knows to do.
“Oh, wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” the apostle Paul, Romans 7:24
A good writing week last week has made me determined to repeat it this week. I love watching those numbers go up and the feeling that I have accomplished something of great worth. More than an impressive word count, more than discipline, more than financial gain or personal gratification, I want my writing to mean something. After reading one of my books, I want the reader to feel that he/she has grown by spending three days inside the world my book created. During my devotional time last week, I came across something that reminded me of that point.
Whether writers or educators or parents or insurance salesmen, we will have an impact on others, even if it is only indirectly. How will the words out of our mouths or those we write touch the person who hears/reads them? Do we uplift or tear down? Do our words make whole or sew doubt? Are my words, words of blessing or words of cursing?
While determined to write another 25K words this week, more importantly, I want those 25K to edify and inspire. Be blessed and have a great week.