Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Guest Blogger J Lea Lopez: Notes From a Procrastinator

I met J Lea Lopez at AQC. Yes AQC has been my go to place since February. She asked me to be a guest on her blog, and it turned into a great collaborative effort. So I asked if she would like to be one of my hall of fame guests, and she graciously agreed. She is the keeper of Jell-o World. She is also on twitter @JLeaLopez

So here is what she has to say about managing time.

Dean has become a great online writing friend through AQC(link here) and I was thrilled to have him offer my blog readers his tips on finding the time to maintain a blog. I don't have much sage advice in that department, so instead, here's my story:

Notes From a Procrastinator

When it comes to time management, I’m the last person to ask for advice. I seem to do well with it at work, but not so much when it comes to writing and personal life. (Just ask Dean how long it took me to get this post to him.) Maybe it's because I haven't fully embraced writing as a job or career, which I absolutely want it to be, eventually. Or maybe it's because at work I have a boss and coworkers relying on me to get stuff done on time. With writing, if I don't finish this chapter today, there's no one to swat me on the rear and send me to bed with no dessert.

Still, despite my penchant for procrastination, I do find time to write. Why? Because I love to write. I can't imagine not writing. I first started putting stories on paper in middle school. Partly as an outlet for all the what-if scenarios that bounced around in my head, and partly as an escape. I've always been introverted, so when the noise of life got to be too much, I would retreat into my head to see what stories I could tell. Being a teenager with no job and few responsibilities left me with plenty of time to write. Now, years later, I have a husband, a dog, two jobs, and the clutter of everyday life all vying to steal time away from writing. But I'm still that introverted girl who likes to people-watch, is fascinated by human interaction and relationships, and is continually wondering what-if? I still need an outlet.

So I write when I can, often at night, after I've exhausted my usual procrastination outlets (I'm lookin' at you, Facebook and Twitter!) and I've begrudgingly done the laundry or the dishes. I take my notebook everywhere, just in case – and yes, I mean a notebook with paper in it, not a notebook computer. I still write by hand. Every now and then I have to give myself permission to let the laundry or the dishes (or both) sit for one more day because I have to write today, no excuses – for the sake of forward progress, but also because I miss my characters after a while, as if they were real people. I miss digging into their lives, feeling what they feel, telling their stories.

I wish I could offer you more in the way of time management tips, but I'm afraid the badge of procrastination is indelibly imprinted on my forehead. Hopefully with Dean's advice, and the tips from his other blog guests, I'll be able to increase my productivity. Consider this my public plea to be held accountable! Just don't send me to bed without dessert if you catch me playing on Facebook, okay?


J. Lea Lopez said...

Thanks again for having me on your blog, Dean!

Dean C. Rich said...

You're welcome. Great post by the way!