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Wednesday, March 21, 2012


AMAZING Discoveries

Last week, I attended an AMAZING writers’ workshop and made a brilliant discovery: I will not explode if I miss my favorite television shows.

I’d always thought that watching my programs was integral to whatever force makes Cathy C. Hall operate smoothly on a daily basis. Apparently, I was wrong.

But that was only one discovery. Here are a few more I made while at the workshop…

I checked my email once in the morning and once in the evening—and the world did not come to an end. Really! I was sure that checking my email 17 times a day was necessary to sustain life as we know it on this planet, but I guess not.

I dropped in on Facebook once a day, late in the evening, for approximately 15 minutes—and I still know what’s going on in my cyber world! I suppose I’d overestimated the importance of keeping up with weird (albeit hilarious) videos passed along by my virtual buddies. Who knew?

And I’m sure you’ll be aghast at this discovery, but I did not play a single online game—and look at me! I’m alive and well! Better than well, actually. My writing is thriving.

You see, that workshop was like overnight camp for writers. No worries about meal-planning, or house-cleaning or hubby/kids/pet care. Just writing. Still, I had plenty of time to do whatever I wanted. But when I considered how I’d saved up my pennies to afford that experience, there was no way I’d spend my time on anything but writing.

So, yes, I learned about plotting and characters and voice and goals and stakes. But mostly, I learned what I need—and what I don’t need—to get my writing done.

And that was truly AMAZING. Because there was one more brilliant discovery I made at the workshop: my novel needs a complete revision. So here I am, back in my real world, looking for writing time in between piles of dirty clothes and bags of groceries.

Fortunately, I know exactly where to find it!

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Blogger Valerie Hartman said...

Ha!! Refreshing look at our time wasters this morning. I am considering turning off the wireless router in our home when I write. Maybe that way I will really write instead of pretending to write. AMAZING points that made me smile.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

"...I will not explode if I miss my favorite television shows." This made laugh out loud! :) Brilliant, Cathy. The whole post. Definitely some things I'm going to consider.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Sioux said...

Cathy--Your post was spot-on. There is a retreat I go to once a year. It's held at a "monkery" (an abbey) and there is no TV and the rooms are spartan. No distractions, so lots of writing gets done.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Cathy C. Hall said...

Thanks, y'all! Right after I wrote this post, I saw a website called Cold Turkey, where you can download a program that won't allow you to access social media and I don't know what all.

But um...I don't think I'm ready to go cold turkey quite yet! ;-)

6:02 AM  
Anonymous J.C. Nierad said...

Cathy - Thank you for saying out loud what a little voice inside of me tries to tell me every day! Strength in numbers...the more times artists hear "survival" stories, the easier it makes it for others to brave the world without as much t.v. and internet time!

6:06 AM  
Blogger BECKY said...

Cathy C....I am honestly surprised to learn that you do all those time-wasters, too? Just like the rest of us?? Only YOU still get more writing accomplished than I do. THAT I am sure of! You've inspired me to do better!! Thanks for one of your scathingly brilliant posts!!

7:32 AM  
Blogger Audrey said...

This post really "struck home" with me. I know that I can't quit cold turkey...nor do I want to. But, I'm going to try and set a time limit and then decrease it every few days. I think that tapering my online time could be the answer for me. Wish me luck and thanks for sharing!

9:36 AM  
Blogger sally apokedak said...

I think you keep the TV shows and gain time by putting your housemate to work on the piles of laundry. :)

No. I'm kidding. Ditch the TV for good.

So glad you had some quality writing time up at lovely Honesdale.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Debra Mayhew said...

These are my time wasters, too, but I prefer to think of them as "stress relievers" because then it sounds like something semi-helpful. But in truth, nothing feels as good as getting lost in writing, so I might need to call them what they really are. :)

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Hayes said...

I have found the more I carve out time to write, the fewer TV shows I watch. I'm glad someone else is amazed that their world is still turning without them!

5:23 PM  

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