Thursday, December 2, 2010

structure, schedules, and bears...oh my!

December 2 Writing.

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

When I saw today's mind went into whirl mode. I have a feeling this post is going to be more whirl than substance. I'm going to let it be whatever it is. The point of it is to show up.

Time management is something that I've always had some trouble with, and I know there are definitely time suckers in my life. The television, and computer are two of the biggest. I spent a good portion of this year trying different schedules, and tools to see if I could find anything that felt right. The closest I've come to something that works are the monthly planners from Charlie Gilkey of Productive Flourishing.

I resist too much structure, though I need to have some, to get anything done. This is such a simple prompt, but it brings up a lot of ick for me. The simple answer is that I could eliminate some of my tv watching and that would free up time for writing, and my other creative pursuits. The longer answer is that I crave some structure, and want to find balance between my freespiritedness and having a schedule. On a deeper level, I didn't have structure as a child; I was a good kid, and made my way through. It's simply something that I didn't learn. This is where my compassion kicks in... and I remind myself that it can still be learned. I did fine when I was working for someone else. Where I notice it most, is in working for myself. At times I feel like a lost little girl, in a creative entrepreneur's body. And all I can do is be where I am.

:: This post is written as part of Gwen Bell's Reverb 10 - on the website, it's described as an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.

*I was over at unabashedly female (because Julie is amazing), and read this post that is the antithesis of this one, and makes sense of why I was feeling so icky about writing this post. Here's the link.


  1. Hi Olivia,
    I'm also doin' the reverb thang (but can't seem to access the contract page!). TV is a big one for me, too. I also feel the push and pull between too much structure and not enough. I, too, was a good girl growing up and made it through, but for the past three years have been struggling with finding focus. I'm about ready to just throw my TV out the window, but... then I might miss a good episode of The Office. And then what? ;)

  2. oh dear, i'm sooooo behind on reading these posts! that being said, i'm so with you on all points (short version, long version and no structure as a child version). you might as well have channeled my mind in writing this post. i SO struggle with the balance between whipping myself into shape to be more productive (i have all the charlie gilkey calendars too!) and showing myself compassion, the way i would with anyone in my life who was clearly in need.

    thanks for walking me through this again =)


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