Limit

This post is written to link with an online discussion at katemotaung.com on the book “On Being A Writer” by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig.  Today I’m posting on Chapter 12: Limit- Because I write, I let some things go.

Life Balance

This chapter challenged me a lot.  As I began to consider the list of things I am involved in, I realised it is pretty long, and it made me wonder if there are some things I should be limiting.  I identify with Ann’s words in the book where she describes free time as being “filled with options that feel endless” and writes that “voracious curiosity… entices me to do it all.”

It’s true- there is just so much I want to do, and the list continues to grow.  On the one hand, I love the variety of being involved in lots of different activities, but on the other hand there are only so many hours in the day and maybe I should be limiting certain things in order to focus on others.

I think there are some people who are called to focus on one interest single-mindedly, whether that is writing, music, sport or something else- I know that when I was studying music I realised that to earn a living as a professional musician that would have to become my whole life.  To reach a high standard in one area can involve huge sacrifices in other aspects of life.

Other people, I think, are called to have a wider range of interests that complement one another.  God made each of us different and I think it is up to each of us to decide what works for us and where God is leading.  I also believe it may be different at different points in our lives- there may be times to focus exclusively on one activity but also times to be involved in a wider range of activities.  We may have to put limits on our involvement in certain areas, either temporarily or permanently, to move forward in the direction God is leading.

I feel that, at the moment, writing is something I should be giving more time to, and I certainly have done that over the last 6 weeks while taking part in this discussion.  There has been no conscious decision to limit other things in order to fit it in, but since, unfortunately, I haven’t learned the secret of creating more time, it has naturally limited other areas of my life.

Looking at the pile (more like a mountain) of clothes waiting to be ironed shows me one area that has been limited.  I’ve also been watching less TV, which I’m fine with, and reading less, which I’m not so happy about.  The time I have spent on music has been limited to some extent as well.

This chapter challenges me to stop and consider how I should be spending my time- to make intentional decisions about how much time to commit to each thing, rather than just letting it happen, and to realise that it is okay to let some things go at points in order to focus on other things… though I probably should make some time for ironing soon or I will be completely out of clothes that are in a fit state to wear!

And so we reach the end of the discussion about “On Being a Writer”.  It’s hard to believe it’s over already.  It has been an amazing 6 weeks.  I have really enjoyed getting into writing in a more intentional and disciplined way than I have done in the past.  I have learned so much through the book as well as everyone else’s posts and comments, and I am left with a lot of food for thought.  It has been great to connect with so many amazing people through this discussion too and I hope we can continue to visit one another’s blogs to stay in touch and continue to encourage one another on this writing journey.

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19 thoughts on “Limit

  1. “I haven’t learned the secret of creating more time, it has naturally limited other areas of my life.” Me too; and until this discussion, I’d never thought about what gets put aside when I write, but I’ll be doing it now. I feel like this discussion has helped all of us sharpen our skills by rubbing with others. It’s been so much fun and wonderful to get to know everyone doing it more.

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    1. I agree, Christy. I have learned so much about different aspects of writing through the book, the other posts and comments and the practice of actually doing it. I have really enjoyed connecting with everyone too.

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  2. It’s interesting how we learn about what our real priorities are when limitations are placed on us. I always learn a little more about myself and this book and discussion has been a great resource for learning. Glad to be a part of it with you and the others.

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  3. “God made each of us different and I think it is up to each of us to decide what works for us and where God is leading. I also believe it may be different at different points in our lives- there may be times to focus exclusively on one activity but also times to be involved in a wider range of activities.”
    Those two sentences clearly sum up what i believe. As I said in my post, the key is to find out what God’s assignment for us is at this time, and make that the focal point of our day. It’s not about competing with someone else to write more often or to have articles published. It’s about hearing for yourself what God is saying, and stepping out in obedience.
    A little sad to see this teaching time come to an end. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a little during these six weeks.

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    1. Thanks, Barbara. Finding what God wants us to do is the key and, as you say, it’s not about comparing ourselves to others but finding out what he has for us. I’m also a bit sad to see the series end, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you too. I hope we can stay in touch through visiting each other’s blogs.

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  4. One reason we presented these as habits was to encourage people to revisit them as their writing lives evolve. As you introduce something new, your life shifts to adjust and you make new discoveries about how much you can or cannot pull off in a day, as you’ve described so well. I hope as you revisit these over time, and live them out, you find ways to be curious and productive in many ways, including writing.

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    1. Thanks, Ann. This whole study has been really helpful and I have learned a lot. I’m sure I will come back to the book and consider the different habits again as situations change.

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  5. When you mention music and taking time to study or play music I almost want to rush to the piano. I’m at the piano all afternoon teaching but I am limited by time to go there for myself. And ironing, when did I do that last. I love the smell of a clean ironed shirt. I love hearing about your life in Scotland. Keep writing.

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    1. Thanks, Gabriele. This discussion has definitely inspired me to keep writing. 31 Days next, so that will certainly keep me busy for a while. I think it’s great that you teach piano, but hope you manage to find some time to play for yourself too.

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  6. Love how you mention intentionality so purposefully. I think that’s definitely the key. I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know you, and all the other ladies, over this last six weeks and am feeling a sort of hole at the moment….but, as you say, we can keep in touch via our blogs….(with the caveat that time is, unfortunately, limited).

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    1. Thanks, Helen. I think intentionality is the key. I just need to learn to do it now instead of just talking about it! Yes, this has been a great discussion, and it’s been a pleasure to meet so many fantastic people. I will miss it too but would definitely like to keep in touch through the blogs.

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  7. So much wisdom in this post! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in so many respects. Limiting is a careful balance, that ought to be revisited often for reassessment.

    Such a delight to have you participate in this discussion! Thank you for your involvement! So glad to hear it has been a help to you. Keep up the great work!

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