Choosing What's Important

Monday, June 17, 2013

Despite its common misuse of the word sacrifice, I like the following passage from Kelly Stone's Time to Write:

Novelist Wendy Corsi Staub says that making her children and their activities a priority also helps her to balance motherhood with a demanding writing career. She has sacrificed many of her leisure activities, at least temporarily, while her children are young. That way, she can write and also be there for her kids. "I have two young children, so juggling motherhood with my writing career has made it necessary to give up just about every leisure activity and hobby I used to enjoy, at least during these years while my children need their mom around," she says. "Both my boys play sports, and I make their games and school activities my first priority."

Again, sacrifices like this don't have to be permanent. Children grow up, and over time, writers can reinvolve themselves in activities that once fell by the wayside for writing and family time. It may be that all you have time for is your children and your writing. but as your kids get older they need you less and less, and you can incorporate more of your previous hobbies while also keeping your writing schedule. It's all a matter of balance, time management, and establishing what's important now. (103-104)
I also found the earlier discussion in Stone's book about goal-setting quite helpful. While I disagree with calling the choice of something more important over something less important a "sacrifice", I wholeheartedly agree with Stone's overall approach to finding time to write, which is actually the exact opposite of sacrifice.

Stone's approach  entails forming a clear vision of success and creating goals designed to realize that vision. She also suggests that the goals should be: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited (which can be remembered as "SMART"). Stone not only outlines a good basic approach, but she also draws on the experiences of numerous successful writers to provide specific advice and helpful tips for implementing her approach. I strongly recommend the book.

-- CAV

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