Time and Energy

ImageThis past weekend I volunteered along with my daughter’s girl scout troop at a food pantry for the poor. While there, we (the other mother and I) found out that the empty parking lot surrounding us was adjacent to a vacant building, but that the owners paid a security company to patrol, ticket and tow any cars parking in the “employee lot”. As a result many of the people who came for groceries, and many of whom were physically challenged, had to park on the street and walk or go and pull up a car to load when they were done. Granted volunteers helped, but the question was: Why go through all the time, money, and general hassle of hiring the security company for something that would have actually benefited others?

Now I’m not here to debate politics. But the idea that we can be putting our own energy, time, etc. into counterproductive efforts scares me. What are these poorly spent activities in terms of writing?

  • Dwelling on rejections and negative feedback. Don’t throw it away! Use the info to help focus your work and efforts appropriately, but don’t let the bad feelings drag you down. Have a piece of chocolate and move on.
  • Jealousy. Sometimes others hear of a book deal or read someone else’s work and are angry because they weren’t the ones. It’s natural to feel a tinge here and there, sure, but your time and journey is different than anyone else. Be happy for others because you KNOW what they went through. And know that it means good things for you too. This is an amazingly supportive community and I’m proud to be a part of it!
  • Fear. Don’t let your fears get in the way of moving forward! Don’t shy away from social media or conferences or critiques because you feel uncomfortable around others. Chances are you’ll have a great time if you give it a chance and so much can be learned! Same with writing. Let yourself go there. You can always change it later. Don’t be afraid to try what scares you.

What other negative pursuits sap your energy, time and/or money? Share!


18 thoughts on “Time and Energy

  1. Great points! I would expand on fear to include problems getting started on writing because you fear it won’t be good enough. Sometimes you have to let yourself write something, even if it’s not perfect, so you can figure out how to improve it.

  2. Excellent post. You hit all the areas that I think we (I) deal with at some point or another, especially stepping out of my comfort zone.

    As for the security patrolling the parking lot. How sad.

    Great post,

  3. I’ve been writing for a lot of years, but this is wisdom I could read every six months and it would feel so timely and true! I still waste time with all of these things more often than I would like. I agree comparing our career paths to other peoples’ is always a sure path to frustration… each is unique and sometimes a slow starting career is just waiting for that right time/right book/right editor to really take off. But if we spend too much time on the negative stuff, we never get to that right time! Sometimes I just put on my blinders so I can only worry about what’s in front of me. Straight ahead is the quickest route to the top ;-). –Joanne

  4. Great advice. Right now it’s my fear of rejection that’s crippling me.
    I’ve been dealing with a lot of rejection in my personal life and I don’t feel like I can handle anymore, especially from the writing industry.
    Hopefully it’s not permanent.

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