There's this image of the truly focused writer; driven, haunted, the kind of person that sits in front of their keyboard night and day, slaving away over their art as if nothing else in the world existed. (Um, I've been that person a few times, ask my family.)
And then there's reality:
Even when you're writing, life happens. For me that life includes a husband, a house, four minions (my kids), a dog, a tortoise, a guinea pig, and a whole lot of outside activities.
In order to keep up with it all, I'm battling my right-brained, seat of my pants style and trying to get organized. Usually, there are two times in the year when I get really organized. One is around January 1st and the other is around now, when my kids go back to school and my life settles back into a routine.
This year, I approached my organizing with a concrete goal in mind. I wanted to organize my household in such a way that I could be a nearly full-time writer and not have to deal with the guilt and stress that comes when I neglect my house in favor of my writing.
I know I'm lucky. My husband is gainfully employed and all of my little minions (my children) are in school. I can (theoretically), be a full time writer. BUT (and there's always that but,) my kids still need to have food and clean clothes and a house that won't end up on a reality television show.
I'm not saying you have to be perfectly organized to be a writer. In fact, I find that a little chaos in my life spurs my muse along and makes for more interesting narratives. After all, doesn't conflict make the story? But I find when my mind is clear of other distractions (like a visit from the bill collector or the Health Department), the ideas flow better.
So this year, in my never-ending search for balance and organization I've decided on jobs for the minions, I'm trying to stick to a schedule, and (this is for my critique partners) I'm learning to say "no" to things I don't have time for. However, I know there will still be times when I'm on deadline or just really caught up in a story and the rest of my life will suffer. But that's okay too. (How can we write conflict if we never have it?)
As one of my favorite authors, Janette Rallison says in her top ten reasons to be a writer:
#2. (When you're a writer) You have an excuse to be cluttered: you have no time for cleaning; you're creating ART.
So, I want to know, do you think a writer has to be organized? Is an organized person a better writer? And how do you make time for writing in the midst of your crazy, busy writer?
***NOTE: THE MINIONS LIKE TO ALTER MY ORGANIZATION BOARD. THIS IS NOT OUR ACTUAL MENU. ***