The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Finding Time to Write (#IWSG) & #BOTB winner

   Are you feeling a bit insecure?  Want to talk about it?


Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog







How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

      I've got to admit that I've grown pretty lax about writing over the past couple of years. When it comes to writing I haven't been finding the time to do it.  It's not that the time isn't available, but I've been using my time to do other things.  Still, I have some advice on finding more time to write.


  • Keep the television off
  • Forget household chores
  • Don't get caught up in conversations and activities with other people
  • Stay home and focus on the writing
  • Stop blogging!
  • Avoid surfing the internet
  • Skip naps and don't sleep much at night
  • If it's not writing then don't do it
     Okay, so maybe that's going overboard, but it might work.  Or it might not.  In fact, probably not in the end.  If I had to give all these things up then I guess I'd give up writing.   As with all things, moderation is the secret of successful living.



Battle of the Bands Results




      My most recent Battle of the Bands contest featured the song "El Listón de Tu Pelo" with versions by Julieta Venegas and Denise Gutiérrez (with backing by Los Angeles Azules).   My concern that the hip-hop style intro of the Venegas version might be a turn-off to voters proved to be unfounded with that version turning out to be the runaway favorite.  

      While I did like the Julieta Venegas version a great deal, my preference was the eclectic mash-up of orchestra, cumbia band, and alt rock vocals from Denise Gutiérrez.  There are a number of these collaborative videos available on YouTube so it's likely that I be using more of them in the future.  Maybe next time the collaboration will pull off a win.  This time not so much.

Final Vote Tally

Julieta Venegas        20 votes 

Denise Gutiérrez      10 votes


Next Battle of the Bands on Thursday September 15th


         My next Battle of the Bands post will be a bit ironic considering my thoughts about this last one.  You'll see what I mean when that battle comes, but I'll also explain myself then.  The songs I'll be using--there will be two different songs--will tell stories relating to similar concepts.   In a way this upcoming battle will be kind of a writer's battle to make up for my own lack of writing of late.  Maybe I'll get inspired to write something between then and now.

          To close out this post I leave you with an English language song by Denise Gutiérrez with her alt rock group Hello Seahorse!.  The first 12 seconds are silent so hang in there.   I guess they're dealing with some irony in the beginning of the video.  Hope you enjoy it.




       How's your own writing been going?   Have you ever gotten mired down in distracted ennui that keeps you from doing what you probably should be doing?   If you listened to the Hello Seahorse! video, what did you think?





65 comments:

  1. Super tips there, Arlee:)Don't think I could stop blogging though. The connection with other writers helps me to stay focused on the writing - well that's my excuse :) Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicola, I always figure that blogging is writing so you can have a pass with that one.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. I have too much time on my hands Lee.
    Got the winner in the BOTB this month.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, I could never have too much time on my hands. I wish I had more.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. I'm afraid I like my sleep too much. No naps though. Just makes me feel groggy and useless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, I like my sleep too. But sleeping does keep me from doing waking activities.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Oh, man. It was a blow out. Ms Venegas was paying people off. It was rigged!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nasreen, too many voters have been drugged with rock and roll and couldn't resist the urge to vote that way.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Moderation sure is key
    For those without OCD
    for the chores are done
    Sleep has been run
    I've made the bed
    Blogging is 372 posts ahead
    The cats are fed
    The TV is dead
    Can't afford gas
    Some going out is a pass
    The internet has the same old news
    No I don't want to book a cruise
    My commenting is through
    Writing can now come do
    Wait, I have to go pee
    Has to be done, but at least it's free.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm moderate when it comes to drinking,
      But not so much regarding my thinking.
      If I could write as fast as my thoughts come,
      Then I'd have books written and more writing done.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. "Stop blogging!" I think you may have something there, Lee. It's so all-consuming, there's little time left for much else, as I also have an offline business to run, not to mention hubby - he needs attention too. Household chores often get neglected, then they pile up and it's a vicious circle. That said, I love blogging, so it's a real dilemma. I have two W.I.P.s and more ideas for turning blog posts into published works. One of these days, it will all come together! As for the battle, Julieta was more pleasing to my ears. Denise's voice doesn't appeal to me all that much. Too "girly" (somewhere. Shady is smiling ☺).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie D, love of blogging presents the conundrum for me. But I'm not going to totally stop--not yet.

      I don't mind a "girly" voice if it's a "girl" singing, but if it's a guy with a girly voice then I'm not so into that.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Blogging is a real addiction for me and I won't be stopping either, but the occasional break is helpful. "Girly" voices of either gender set my teeth on edge, with a couple of exceptions, like Neil Young.

      Delete
    3. Debbie D, if a female sang like Neil Young I think that might be a bit disturbing.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. After writing for several years, I think a break is in order. I used to pound at it, but now I show up to write when it suits me. Of course, I can't stop the ideas from coming, so I kind of wish my brain had an on/off switch, and I could choose when to write and when to lie around and eat bon bons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C.Lee, incessant thinking is my mental equivalency to exercise to keep my body in shape. Now I probably should do some actual physical exercise. I never have a problem with finding the time to lie around, but I have a problem in that I actually do that.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Stop blogging!
    That's the big one for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew, easier said than done for me, but I probably couldn't stop blogging for long.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. I love your list. I should take inventory of time spent. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teresa, taking inventory takes up time. Sometimes it's worth doing though.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. One of the reasons I miss my old computers is because they were so distraction-free! The 152K Mac could only do one thing at a time, and though the '93 Mac eventually did get Internet, it was dial-up, and I had to choose whether to use the Internet or write. The screen wasn't big enough to play with both together. I do need to keep WiFi on while I write, since my work is so research-heavy, but I do miss the days when the screen was only big enough for the word-processing document and a little bit of the desktop image.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie-Anne, I get what you're saying, but I wouldn't want to go back to those computer times. Maybe you need two computers? I've got a second one that's not connected to the internet that I could use for just writing. Unfortunately of late I just use it to play solitaire.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. I use a small, old laptop for most of my writing. It doesn't multi-task well and where I write the internet connection is usually pretty spotty, so it's not hard to cut out distractions. It's just finding the opportunity to put yourself in that position, that's the trick.

    IWSG September

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CD, limitations can have benefits as well as hassles.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Love your list, Lee. That about sums it up.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, the list works, but it is a bit extreme to some extent.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. I do forget household chores but it doesn't seem to help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L.Diane, if I don't do my part of the housework then my wife does it on her day off and I feel bad about that.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. I think it's everything in moderation. Especially the television and internet. If I'm not careful, I'll binge watch my favorite show (I'm talking to you Stranger Things!) or get caught up on Facebook for too long. Then where does that leave time for writing? It doesn't.

    Elsie
    co-host IWSG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elsie, I've been watching too much TV news the past couple years. Maybe after the election is over...

      Lee

      Delete
  15. I actually gasped when I read the line "Stop blogging"! You are funny, Lee;-) But you're right, distractions are a problem. So is having a part time job that has a lot of overtime these days - ha! It helps to always carry a pen and spiral notebook for whenever my muse wants to talk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, though some humor was intended in this post some truth had to be present to have it make sense. I probably should cut back on blogging, but once you're addicted it's difficult to let it go.

      A part time job with a lot of overtime almost seems like an oxymoron.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. Like you said moderation is key Arlee. Also important to prioritize finding time to write. I keep saying I'll enter BOTB bit then I don't I plan to change that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheena-kay, I'd love to see you join us in the BOTB posts. It's good to have some varied musical preferences to choose from and we do have variety.
      Let me know when you'll participate and I'll add your link to my list.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Sometimes I think "forget the household chores" is the whole reason I started writing, hehe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicki, that works if you've got someone to do them--or don't mind living in squalor.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. Good tips. I need to follow the stop surfing the net one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HR, the internet is a vast trap that tries to suck us in and often accomplishes that goal.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. So far (probably since most of the readers here are also bloggers and they are focused on the writing tips), the music clip has not been mentioned.

    I really enjoyed Hello Seahorse! They have a pleasant and catchy sound that typically appeals to me. Thanks for posting them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SBB6, yes IWSG day creates a focus on writing so the video did get lost. Glad you enjoyed the Hello Seahorse! song. Nothing of great consequence, but I agree that it is fun catchy music. I was attempting to emphasize the contrast between this song and the one I used in the battle. Thanks for listening and offering your thoughts on it.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. Lee, In the past few years I've been distracted from writing a more content filled posts. I've gotten side track with the blog hops, etc. It's not a bad thing because I think it's teaching me better ways to develop my writing style with the various triggers each meme contribution I add to my site. I do need to get myself more focused in this department, though. Someone mentioned the best approach is moderation and that really is the key in life to most things. Things have to have a balance. Well, it looks like my BoTB pick did not win. :( Her English song/vid is a pleasant upbeat track that got my toe tapping. It's a nice introduction. Thanks for sharing it. Have a good morning. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, I've been trying to cut back to one or two posts per week and the BOTB posting helps me do that. I've put my blogging on autopilot for the most part. That's balance for me at present.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. Sometimes the blog steals away from my writing time, but I still find it worthwhile enough to keep blogging. Now if only I could finish writing my book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken, blogging has become my writing time--at least I'm writing something so it's not all bad. I can empathize about writing that book.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. I love the "Stop Blogging!" one, haha! So speaks the fearless leader of A to Z. I think Nora Roberts lives by these rules!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, any prolific writer probably adheres to my list to some extent.

      Lee

      Delete
  23. Hopefully you're doing things that make you happy instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shannon, I feel a sense of contentment with a nagging undercurrent that threatens to pull me into a great stream of productivity which is where I probably should be.

      Lee

      Delete
  24. Hi, Lee!

    I agree with you. When I was a kid I did my homework with the TV or stereo blasting, but nowadays I need to eliminate distractions if I am to get any creative writing done. That means turning off the TV and the music, removing myself from rooms full of chatting people and withdrawing from the blog circuit for a while. Blogging and other forms of social media will suck gobs of your valuable time if you allow it. If you participate in every hop that comes along, accept every "chain letter" award given to you, and try to "juggle" (that was for you) hundreds of click-on "friends" just to make your numbers look good, your own product will suffer.

    Turning to your BOTB results, the good news is that I found myself on the winning side for a change. The bad news is that, once again, your ears did not match mine. At least we agreed on the Rolling Stones over at Michele's and we'll be in good shape if Miley ever shows up again. :)

    Have a great weekend, good buddy Lee, and don't forget the rave tonight at club Verdant. I hope to see you there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shady, life is full of distractions, but I guess that's what makes it life.

      Lee

      Delete
  25. I know I am so easily distracted that I rarely write anymore. I've given up and will just have to write when the mood strikes me.

    I like the Denise Guitierez song here. Hello Seashorse is an interesting name...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, Hello Seahorse! sounds like the name of a group for children and this song I've presented has a sound that it seems kids might enjoy. I'm not real familiar with their other music though I've listened to some of their songs and they sounded pleasant enough.

      Lee

      Delete
  26. Well, I'll be damned, LEE! You and I voted the same way on this one. I really didn't see that coming.

    ~ D-FensDogG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, And before going into this battle I really thought that Denise's version would come out ahead. This outcome was the reverse of my expectations.

      Lee

      Delete
  27. One thing I definitely had to do was quit participating in all the blog challenges. They take up a lot of time. Now, back to writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen, I'll do a blog event if it happens to fit my needs or if there is something really special about it, but I'm less participatory in Blogland than I used to be.

      Lee

      Delete
  28. Yes, I have to force myself to set aside many things to get some writing done. Works short term, but I'm too into my fun time when not working or traveling. Terrible, I know, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dolorah, well, it may be terrible, but I enjoy my fun time. And my sleeping time. Gotta live.

      Lee

      Delete
  29. Those are valid time thieves you mention there.
    Now as a part-time working mom, I cannot NOT make dinner, and I NEED the internet to look up stuff all the time, especially online dictionnaries (English is not my first language), but you're right, no need to check Facebook every half hour ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tamara, we gotta eat and if nobody else is gonna fix it then we do. That or go out for fast food every night. I do that sometimes, but it would get old and somewhat expensive every night. Facebook I usually avoid.

      Lee

      Delete
  30. First of all, the video was great! Thank you for sharing it because I would never have found out about them. I want the shirt with the moving mouth. It would help me out in some awkward social situations...lol
    Secondly, your tips are great! In essence, we write with any spare moment we have. Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erika, glad you took the time to enjoy the video. I might have had tongue planted in cheek to some extent, but there is inherent truth in my tips.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee