Dabbling

Last week’s post on piano-playing and success is still swirling around in my brain.

How many hobbies have I had?

  • Piano
  • Jewelry-making
  • Tennis
  • Rock-climbing
  • Painting
  • Fortune-telling (I was nine. My “crystal ball” was a marble.)
  • Embroidery and sewing

I’m certain I’ve forgotten some.

Writing used to be a hobby. Now I try to think of it as work, although that’s difficult when nobody’s ever paid me for it (a short story will be published and paid for soon, though!)

In looking over that list, I feel the familiar itch. Most of the supplies and gear necessary for those hobbies are in closets or the garage or the Love Shack (aka Writing Studio aka Guest Room). With enough time on my hands, I could create a new bracelet, or force my feet into the toe-bending climbing shoes. With the exception of fortune-telling, each of those hobbies are things I’d love to do, right at this moment.

But I had to make some choices, because I was dabbling. Dabbling in so many things meant I wasn’t getting good at any of them, and remember, writing used to be a hobby. I felt like if I wanted to be good at something, I had to sacrifice some of those other things, because I just don’t have the time to be good at all of them. It’s not possible – at leastĀ  not for me, not right now.

I chose writing. Maybe once Maverick starts school, or maybe even before that, I’ll find some time and energy for one or two of those other things. I mean, I wish, I hope it can be that way. Can I do them all? I don’t know the answer to that question. Because I still want to be a good mom and a good wife and while I don’t need to excel in each of those hobbies, some of them aren’t as much fun if I totally suck.

Is the choice really: dabble in many, or excel in a select few? Anybody want to weigh in with some advice?

Parenting and Productivity

Before I had Z, I considered myself fairly productive. I finished the first draft of a novel, which seemed like a pretty big deal at the time. It took me about two years.

After Z, I finished another novel draft in one year. My third one took about six months or so.

Today, just finished the first draft of my fourth novel, and it took less then three months. (It’s really really short, and really really horrible, but that’s what revision is for.)

So what I’m wondering is, am I more productive with the writing because I know how fleeting free time is, so I don’t waste it? Or is it that I’m “growing up” finally, and getting a little more self-disciplined? Or am IĀ  a more effective writer, because of all the practice? Or all of those, or none?

And before you think I’m writing more because I’ve let housework fall by the wayside, no, I can assure you, I’ve always let housework fall by the wayside. (And I always will.) (Yes, that’s a promise.)

Does anyone else have experience with this – whether for you, or someone you know? More productive with kids, as unbelievable as it sounds?