Minnie Pearl was known for her hat with the price tag still attached. I don’t know if this was to let people know how much she had paid for it, or so she could return it after having worn it a few times! Whatever the reason for the price tag, I have found myself thinking lately that I wish everything had a price tag attached in plain sight, letting me know how much it cost.
There are no freebies in this life. The free donut at the office may cost hours on a treadmill to wear off the calories, or cost by having to buy new clothes to fit an expanding body. A free piece of pizza may cost me a night of indigestion. Every commitment I say yes to, costs me in terms of my time and energy. An hour on the phone trying to straighten out a medical bill costs more than that actual hour. It may take me hours to decompress enough to get back to writing as I fuss and fume over the situation. Paper work is deadly to the creative spirit! Anything that takes my focus off of writing has a price tag beyond the actual time it takes.
Constant interruptions by the dog wanting to play or go outside or be taken for a walk, may only cost a few minutes, but if I’m at a critical point in writing, it may take more than those minutes to get the momentum going again. All of the small interruptions and chores that are part of daily life can be destructive to the writing process.
But there are some activities that give more than they take. Going for a bike ride, being out in nature, meditating, soaking in a hot tub, all serve to clear my mind and help me be more productive. For every hour spent, I reap the benefits of two hours. During my bike ride yesterday, I gained new insights into my characters for my WIP, letting me know that maybe I’m not as ready to write as I thought.
I never know what activity may actually provide me with a bonus for writing. A post on facebook by a friend yesterday, gave me a quote that I might be able to use in my WIP. So was the time spent on facebook worth the price?
If only I knew ahead of time what each activity was going to cost me in terms of my writing time, it would be so much easier to pick and choose. Instead I have to guess at the cost.
Maybe that’s why I’m making so little progress with my summer WIP!
What excuses do you come up with when you are not writing?