January 09, 2015

A Spark or a Smouldering Fire? - Shirley S. Tye

Many things have changed in the past four years, mostly for the good. But the down side is that I’m feeling worn out now and cranky; the spark for many things is gone. I’m at a loss as to what to do with the few remaining years of my life. I know, I’m sounding like I’m ancient. Well, that’s how I feel.

But when I read some of my writing, a little spark ignites as I’m struck with surprise at some of the clever lines and humour. It encourages me and I think, perhaps I should keep plugging along; at least, with the writing. But what have I learned about my writing this past year? Two things; I need uninterrupted time; and a purpose or dead-line.

My best writing or shall I say my best out-put is when I take a private writer’s retreat. For those few days, I get a lot of writing, plotting, editing, and daydreaming accomplished. Yes, daydreaming is part of writing – for me, anyway. Unfortunately, those retreats are short once-a-year occurrences. Now, if only, I could manage blocks of time like that more often I’d finish the novel I started three years ago.

This hit-and-run method hasn’t been beneficial to the progress of my writing. What I need to do is set a regular block of time aside for writing and find a place nearby where I can write uninterrupted. Of course, the place would have to be free otherwise the cost of writing may exceed the sales the novel might generate. I do have a den but at home it’s always easy to find something else to do and I can be interrupted.

Well, this gives me something to think about…hmm… Do I smell smoke?


  1. Shirley, you've described my angst most eloquently. Always another task that could be done first, always an interruption that sticks it's foot in the door I'm trying to close so I can focus.

    I wonder if God would help? Hmmmm... Maybe he does, and it's just so different from what I'm expecting that I haven't noticed it. You've motivated me to ask him! Thank you. :)

  2. You described my methodology to a tea - at least until a couple of years ago. I used to write primarily in the summer months when I wasn't teaching, with only a little bit of editing etc. The rest of the year I only had time to keep up with marketing, social networking and my blog. then I signed a couple of contracts that forced me to write and it was the best thing for me. Deadlines are a great motivator!

  3. Deadlines are great motivators for me as well, but I think realizing that when God places it upon me to write, I need to obey. It is a discipline and sometimes a lot of fun! Sometimes I head to the coffee shop for ideas and a space.

  4. Thanks for sharing your heart with us Shirley. I have learned this past year that looking at the final-product goal is too daunting for me--that I need to make baby-stop daily goals in my writing. Otherwise, I freeze and don't write at all. I hope you can find that regular block of time, setting smaller accomplishable goals. May God give you that needed boost of energy and determination to do so.

  5. Thanks, Shirley. I can identify with much, maybe all of what you're saying: The desire for large and/or regular times for writing, the realization that the years for my writing--at least on this earth--are limited, that I too am working hit and miss.

    I pray that both of us and others with similar concerns can soon smell smoke from the sparks that ignite our writers' flames. Blessings.


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