Friday, November 23, 2012
A Method to her Madness
I’ve been working under duress during the past few months. My life seemed busy enough when something extra turned up; like water gushing into an overflowing brook when the spring rains fell. Like a hundred more customers lined up to be served, when the store had been busy enough. Like a thousand seagulls swooped near me as I enjoyed my lunch – each saying ‘Feed me! Feed me! Feed me’!
The Director of the church organisation where I work, left suddenly and I’ve been filling in his shoes since (in a voluntary capacity). I am passionate about what we do – blessing our community. But 24 hours never seems enough now to do all I need to do. And so, I’ve been straining towards reaching three major deadlines. The first deadline was the 6th birthday party of a Support group I run and that was held yesterday. I loved preparing for it. Lots of shopping. Lots of buying. Lots of wrapping. Dreaming up games. Buying a cake. Blowing balloons. Writing twelve letters to the twelve special ladies who would attend. Making cards and awards. Yes, it was fun. But a lot of work too.
A big bold Tick on that deadline. Now I have 2 more. Every Christmas, we at CareLink (where I volunteer) make and deliver 50 Christmas hampers to needy people in our community. It’s been one of the best parts of Christmas for me each year. I love making the hampers – knowing there will be recipients whose Christmas is brightened by our TLC. This Christmas I am extra-immersed in it. I’m amazed as to all I have on a daily basis to ensure the Christmas Hampers will be done well. I need to rally our volunteers for the task. Get the church community behind us. Ask for help in numerous ways. Organise gifts for about 100 children. There’s much to do.
A wonderful lead up to Christmas. But I will be glad when I tick the boxes on that deadline too. My 3rd Major Deadline. A Writing Deadline! Does that sound familiar?
I was thrilled to be a finalist in a Christian writer’s competition this year, by an American publisher - Write Integrity press. The book I’m writing is one I am passionate about. One I would love to hit the bookshelves soon and make a difference in our world.
And that’s what this blog is really about. Deadline 3 – to be completed by 31st December! Ever since I returned from the Writer’s Getaway, I have been doing my utmost to devote sufficient time to writing that book. I need to write at least 1000 words a day in order to get my quota done. I rolled up my shirtsleeves and got to work. But did it happen?
I did try. Very Hard. But life kept getting in the way. Help! Meals had to be made (too often), the men in my life need to be looked after (not that I'm complaining), the Christmas Hampers need to be taken care of (I like it!), friends to meet with, extended family to connect with, ministry to do, other Christmas events to attend, Carols to practice….. you get the gist? No – the 1000 words a day did NOT happen. And there I was getting more and more pressurised by the minute.
And then it struck me. I was doing it all wrong. Perhaps I should approach the problem differently? When I am in full flow, writing 1000 words is easy. I realised that I need to tap into that creativity. And so, I decided that instead of writing 1000 words a day, I would write 4000 words one day of the week and 3000 on the other. I’d do the other important things on the remaining 5 days each week. I’d meet my week’s quota and get my other work done too. Right?
Right! This new method worked like a charm! The words got done – effortlessly, well…. almost effortlessly, shall I say? I also stopped feeling pressured. Wonderful. So yes, there was a method to my madness. I was now able to boast not just 7000 words a week but even more that that. Yay!
I wonder what “methods there are to your madness” in your writing? Have you found what didn’t work for you? Have you your own beautiful plan of a Writer’s life?
As a Christian writer, there’s one thing I am determined not to change. And that’s my time with God each day. Even if I am too busy for it. Especially if I am too busy! Some years ago, I realised that the secret to living a life that pleases God is to have time with Him every day – not a rushed 20 mts but a solid chunk of time. It is my meat and drink.
In order to be a writer of integrity, I need to have my spirit bathed in Him. My worldview washed in His Word. So if there is one Method to my madness as a Christian Writer, is that my time with Jesus is never compromised.
It’s one that brings rich dividends.
Now, it’s your turn. Do tell.
What are the special methods you employ to your own brand of Writer madness?
I’d love to hear about it!
Dancing in the Rain at http://anusha-atukorala.webnode.com/