I've noticed how many lives seem to be unravelling right now. What happened to the easy living of summer time?
In case that's you, here's a photo to inspire you:
It's one of the many things made at the Create in Me retreat back in April. If you're thinking, I'd love to have more photos to help my brain focus, go to this post on my theology blog. There are photos of a variation of a Zen sand garden to inspire tranquil calm and photos of whimsical garden figures to inspire a smile.
I've had a good morning. I began by doing some simple revisions with my memoir manuscript. Let me define what I mean by that.
You may remember that I began this process by going back through my blogs looking for any post that would fit into the idea I had for a memoir: a Kathleen Norris like collection of essays that are tied together by the theme of trying to create an integrated life in a workplace that doesn't particularly support a healthy spirituality or creative work. My workplace isn't usually outright hostile, but it's not supportive either. I had Nora Gallagher's Things Seen and Unseen as a model, and I organized the manuscript around the calendar year. So, blog posts that are clearly about Advent, for example, go in the December section. At the end of the manuscript, I put the essays that seem relevant but not particularly tied to the calendar; I'll weave those through later.
So, the easy task is to dive into the manuscript and find a blog post that's fairly close to essay form already. I change the things that need to be changed to make it more like an essay and less like a blog post. I change the type font, so that I'll know it's been done.
There are other revisions tasks that aren't so easy. I don't tackle them on a morning like this one when I don't have as much time and I've been feeling frazzled.
You might say, "What kind of revision tasks aren't so easy?" Here's an example: I have multiple essays on Vacation Bible School. Do I blend them into one essay or keep them separate? If I keep them separate, then they become easy tasks again. If I decide to blend them, I need to figure out the best way to do that.
And then there will be the task of integrating the bulk of blog posts at the end of the manuscript, the ones that don't clearly fit in one section or the other, throughout the book. Do I put all the blog posts about music in one place or weave them throughout? I face lots of questions like that one. They're not particularly tough, but they do require some analysis, which will require some concentration.
As I reflect, I realize how often I divide jobs of all sorts into these two camps. At work, I have some tasks that are easy and quick. There are other tasks which I tackle only when I have a stretch of time, when I can close the door and focus. I divide housework chores similarly: for example, getting laundry done is easier than doing the mending. Any number of creative projects have both easy parts and parts that need a different part of my brain.
I think we often doom ourselves creatively by insisting that we must have huge chunks of time where we know we won't be disturbed with anything else. For most of us, we could wait a whole lifetime and never have the ideal conditions in which to get our best creative work done.
The good news: the small tasks are important too, and they must also be done. So on a day when you feel like you can't possibly make progress, try choosing a smaller goal.
This Year's Summer Reading List: Take a Look!
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