Constraint

In this big, wide world with so many channels, choices and chatter, it can be hard to find our focus and stick to one main goal. I really struggle with this intention. I like to take on a lot of new things, but then sometimes I find that they “pile up” and start to crowd my life, in a way.

I generally try to put a constraint around things like the blog, for example. I give myself a limited amount of time each morning 30-45 minutes, to write the content. Sometimes if I am looking for photos to add, it can take up to an hour. But I try to make sure there is a limit. I could literally spend hours writing if I allowed it (and maybe someday I will), but I have a “regular” job. At least today that’s what allows me to pay my bills and not strangle my creativity by trying to make it pay.

constraints
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As I near my 200th post (this Saturday!) I am considering whether to impose another constraint, to help me focus on larger projects that have been scratching at my consciousness. Since October 1st I have been posting daily here. Sunday is a haiku and it is short and sweet, though I cannot always resist 2 or 3 verses. And Saturday has become a blog share day, to pass along some love to other blogs I have discovered and enjoyed. So in a way, I already imposed some constraints that helped me find writing rhythm in my week.

I truly enjoy this daily ritual, writing whatever I happen to be thinking about each morning. So I hesitate to pull it back. It has given me structure and focus, and even when I have had to travel for work, I planned ahead and made sure to plan short posts sometimes scheduled for while I would actually be on an airplane.

There is a little thrill when we hit the “publish” button (do you get that too?) and our work goes out into the world. Even though I try not to get caught up with how many “likes” or “views” any particular piece has, I sometimes do consider it. Truly it fascinates me, which topics resonate with people, not always predictable and often a surprise for me.

Now that I have had some time to develop a regular writing practice, though, I strive for a bit more focus on some longer and “meatier” pieces, perhaps to submit to publications. I told my husband: I have a book in me (or three) and I would like to consider whether that is my ultimate goal. I sense a transition in my own creativity, and may need to constrain one area of my writing, so I can generate greater focus on another part. So again I toy with a frequency that will work for me.

When I imagine cutting back to once a week, as many bloggers do, I get this “muzzled” feeling which I do not like. I then consider 3 or 4 times a week as a reasonable limit. It allows for me to get my blog “fix” and generate some short(ish) pieces as warm-up writing and to keep myself loose. But it also allows for those other mornings when I can assign the time to a few project ideas that are longer and more involved, that require some editing and polishing.

Are there areas in your life where you recognize constraint helps you focus? Do you struggle as much as I do when you first consider cutting something out to make room for other things? I would love to hear about your experiences with this in the comments.

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4 thoughts on “Constraint

  1. You’re an inspiration! Julie Cameron in The Writer’s Way encourages everyone to write “morning pages” if only to get everything out, all the mind clutter at the very least, that may be blocking your focus on bigger creative projects. It sounds like you’re already doing that but in a more structured way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so impressed with how often you post – because of work constraints I can usually only manage once a month! I wholeheartedly support the idea of you writing a book (or 3), what sort of book would you like to write?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not totally sure yet. I have some personal stories to tell, but lots of people write memoirs. I’m not famous enough that anyone would care about my life, so… I’m toying with the idea of writing some fiction, but basing it on my own life experiences. I’ve sometimes thought of writing a “corporate” survival guide for other a.d.d.-oid folks or people who don’t “fit in” because of their multi-cultural background. Definitely some essays in there, if not more than that. I want to take a few risks and start submitting pieces to magazines and other publications (if people read them anymore, now that blogs exist…). Writing gives me energy, and since I was young I thought I might write books someday. But do I know enough about any one thing to write? That’s the big question. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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