Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shifting Priorities

I'm not writing anything new and it's making me very cranky. Yes, my arm is in a sling. And yes, that makes it difficult to type on the laptop. But truth be told, even before the shoulder surgery, I wasn't writing, and I am many things, but being a procrastinator is not among them.

It seems once I completed and published my memoir and I'd launched it in the bookstore, I've become overwhelmed with marketing--so much so that I have no energy left after checking personal email, web email, blog comments, linked in, twitter, facebook, and the five different yahoo groups I belong to. In the 30 seconds I've allotted for prayer and meditation, I realized that it is time to shift priorities.

When I ask myself what the most important thing on my to-d0 list is, the answer is write. In fact, I have several top priorities, things that if I don't do, I feel off kilter, imbalanced, not centered. They are: writing, doing my arm exercises, walking for exercise, and practicing singing. Until this morning, my day started with getting on the computer to check all the previously mentioned things. Sometimes I'd fit the walk in, sometimes I'd manage ten minutes of singing. I have managed to do the arm exercises each day because I am determined to get full functioning back once the sling departs.

By scheduling my day according to priorities, once I finish this blog entry, I will exercise, practice singing, make some notes for my new writing projects, then comment on fellow classmates blogs, and lastly, check all the internet sites.

Does anyone else have trouble moving themselves away from the computer--it almost feels like an addiction to compulsively check to see if I've missed anything?



Galen Kindley said...

Hi, Karen, I think all your points are well taken. Where indeed is the balance point between marketing...so expected by publishers and so important to further our lives as writers...and simply writing? It's easy to become overwhelmed by the promotional things. My wife is very understanding, but, I feel so guilty when she's here and I have my head buried in the laptop. Yeah, making all this fit together is a challenge. Maybe as we grow at the promotional end, it will be come simpler. Dr. Mani posted a How To Manage it list that's a good template that's adaptable for most of us.
Best Regards, Galen.

Gayle Carline said...

I completely understand! It's a difficult balance - if I don't market my book it won't sell and I won't get the contract for the next one. If I don't write the next one, it will be a mute point. And then there's my family to take care of, riding lessons to teach, my weekly column to write, and let's not even talk about my housekeeping. I need a wife - and, Karen, sounds like you need a secretary, who can type while you dictate!


Patricia Stoltey said...

I can't imagine how I'd get anything done if my arm was in a sling. That must be hard! And yes, I do have trouble tearing myself away from the computer. I love my computer almost more than I love my favorite television shows. Everything else suffers -- walking and exercise, reading for pleasure, even trips to the grocery store. Modern technology is wonderful, and horribly addicting.


K.B. Keilbach said...

As a fellow author, I can completely empathize! It is so easy to lose site of priorities and get sucked into tangents. Your post is a great reminder to anyone who has a passion and a goal, even non-writers. Thanks for sharing!


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

You expressed the frustration I often feel so well. The Ride was released in August and I still haven't found the perfect balance between marketing and writing. I am, however,coming closer to finding a routine I can live with.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

The Practical Preserver said...

Sister, you have hit the proverbial nail right on the head. husband keeps saying, "What are you doing? You still on that computer?" etc. etc. I'm twittering, facebooking, blogging, and feel overwhelmed right now. Writing? I think I remember that.

K. A. Laity said...

I empathize as well and you are wise to think about it in terms of priorities. It's essential to be centered and present in order to get real work done. Feeling off kilter means that needs to be addressed now!


Karen Walker said...

Amen, y'all. Feel much better having gotten my priorities straight.

Anonymous said...

Of course! You've hit the nail on the head -- this is always the problem. Gotta just step away. It sometimes helps me if I go to a coffee shop to write... I'm more focused when I'm away from home.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen-

Thanks for the visit and comment on my Free Spirit blog today. :) You're doing very well with the post-per-day challenge - I've been watching (smile).

To answer your question about hyperlinking text so the website opens in a new window, I've posted an easy to follow step by step tutorial in the BBT site, under "files" The name of the file is "Tutorial on Text Hyperlinking" and the direct url to the page is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/blogbooktours/files/

Hope that helps!

Marvin (The Old Silly)

Jina Bacarr said...

Your blog hits home for all writers. I feel fortunate that we have the Internet to do PR, but I so agree that it can take over our lives.

I just finished being interviewed by a magazine editor about the Japanese and it reminded me how the Japanese find pleasure in spending time thinking about the things that bring them peace and harmony. These quiet pleasures are called miyabi--I think we all need a little miyabi every day.


AlanChinWriter said...

What seems to work for me is writing new material in the am, and doing my marketing after my lunch break. That doesn't work so well for my husband, however, because there is always so much marketing to do that I'm still at it into the evening. I'm working harder since my book was published than at any point in my life.
I find myself longing for the carefree days when all I had to do was write my stories, and I'm sure my husband is longing for for those days, too.

alan chin