Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Best Intentions

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

That's something everyone has heard. I was thinking about writing this morning and how, in all the things that I put into my life, my own path is (more often than not) paved with good intentions. I always have the plan or the drive, but I have so much drive for so many things that there's no way everything can be accomplished. These are my good intentions and they are lining my writing path. My fear? I sure hope the path of my good intentions doesn't lead me to failure.

Good intention: I will encourage all my friends as they write.
I'm listing this first because I spent a large portion of my afternoon encouraging my friends. Now, don't get me wrong: I love encouraging people. It's so joyful to offer up something (even if it's gifs of Tom Hiddleston and Jensen Ackles) to friends who need some rewards/motivation/encouragement. Seriously. LOVE IT. It's the best part of having friends who write: I get to look at hot boys for them. (SEE THE BOYS. CAN YOU BLAME ME??????) Win. 

Yes. I would. Ah..

 Plus, I'm a total encouragement hog, I love getting and receiving, so if me spending time with the hot boy pictures helps them in any way, I'm good. 

I often let myself use my own time seeking out ways to offer encouragement to others. Maybe I'm scared. Maybe I just love my friends so much that I don't think about it. (Both of these are kinda true!) However, I need to make sure my good intention of encouragement doesn't become a crutch that I carry so I don't have to write. Because, let's face it, we writers love excuses to not write. Weirdly.

Good intention: I take on this project because I have time. 
I love editing. Part of this goes to working at Spencer Hill, and part of it to the last point of helping my friends. But I love it. I already have three projects coming out next year for SHP (two in October, one in November) so between that and writing and moving, you know, sleep, I shouldn't be taking on side projects for free or for friends, but YET I AM. 

"Sure, I have time to edits for you by Monday." No, I don't. "Oh, you need a beta--I can help!" No, I can't. "I'd love to do it, sure!" I would, but I don't really have time. Danielle, you're an idiot.

So I have these good intentions, but I take on more and more. I can handle it all. I'm a good multi-tasker, but this is probably a week where nothing will be accomplished in my writing. Because though my intentions are good, my time is limited. 

Good intention: I'll write a blog post.
I have a stack of edits to do, two more waiting, an MS to read, a friend's book to beta (WHICH I CANNOT WAIT FOR!), and a job search to start. But you know the thought that crosses my mind? I haven't blogged since before BEA. I should do that. So here I am.

Oscar Wilde once said, "It is always with the best intentions that the worst work is done."

I really hope the next two weeks aren't killer for me. The last thing I want is bad work. I'm a firm believer in doing things WELL rather than many. But yet, as much as I believe that, my good intentions are stacking up. I need to work harder to make sure they aren't lining a path to failure. 

Does that mean I quit having good intentions? Absolutely not! I'm not going to stop editing, or revising, or writing, or sending hot boy pictures to my friends. There's just no way. So for now, I need to re-evaluate the things I don't need to do--and maybe have a little dog that follows me around and bites me each time I think about saying yes. That would be helpful.

What about you? Do you find yourself taking on too many things, even though your intentions are good? Do you know what those things are? Do you know how to evaluate what things are important and keep yourself accountable? If you don't have this issue, tell me: how do you say no?? 

1 comment:

  1. I am so bad wit hmy good intentions, as well. I only have 1 or 2 writer friends, and end up listening to my non-writerly friends when they tell me to get out of the house. They encourage me to write, of course, but encourage me more to go to church or their house or at least a bookstore. :) I try to designate a certain time or a certain amount of words to write each day.