Tara Meissner is a former journalist and a lifelong creative writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and works part-time at her local library. Tara lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Mike, and their three sons. She writes longhand in composition notebooks. Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is her first book. th grew up writing short stories and bad poetry before escaping the cold winters of Wyoming and settling in the Sonoran Desert. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and two children, Abigail (11) and Gabriel (6). She still loves to write, but fortunately gave up on poetry.
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Creating Time to Create
Guest Post by Tara Meisner
I am fortunate that I actually have time to write, and I’m sure you do too!
I have a husband, three kids, volunteer for youth organizations, take on freelance projects, and work ten hours a week at the library. Yet, I fit in time for creative writing. Some weeks are better than others.
Time has never been the thing holding me back! It was staying focused during that time and not squandering it with Facebook, blog reading, phone calls, reading, laundry, naps, list making, lunch or coffee with friends, etc.
Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert shares keys to her success and inspiration for living the life you want on her Facebook page. Most of us, of a certain age, have learned to say no to the things we don’t like or want to do. (If you haven’t done this yet, it is a great first step!) The next step, Gilbert presented, is saying no to the things you do enjoy. That advice changed my attitude. I felt I had permission to decline activities that didn’t get me closer to the creative life I craved. I miss out on things that would have been fun, but feel better about it.
Writing time might be found the first four hours of the day, every day. For some it is the lunch hour during the day job. Others may find time from 9-11 p.m. after kids are in bed or 1-3 p.m. during a toddler’s afternoon nap. Maybe it is Sunday mornings from 6-10 a.m.
If you are not cranking out two or three novels a year, writing six to eight hours a day at the exact same time is probably not a realistic goal, or even necessary. I carve out ten hours a week for creative work, all in blocks of time at least two hours long.
I schedule everything that I have to do in a week on “sticky notes” on my laptop. Things like carpool, library hours, swim team, doctor appointments, client meetings, and paid freelance work are blocked in and then I “find” ten hours a week when I can write.
The key then is to actually WRITE during those times and not squander them on the mentioned distractions. One of my friends writes on her laptop at a coffee shop and doesn’t ask for the WIFI password. I write at home longhand in composition notebooks, index cards, and legal pads.
The dang smart phone is difficult to ignore. I have three children, and I developed this notion that I must always be assessable to them in case of an emergency and should never leave my phone away from me. The oldest is 16; there has never been an emergency!! Seriously, nothing that couldn’t have waited an hour or two. So, I use the smart phone to my advantage. I set the timer for an hour, place it face down and ignore it until the timer goes off.
There is little immediate income attached to my creative writing, which makes it hard to justify for me. Yet, I realize the value developing my creative writing skills, so I try to let go of distractions and excuses, and I give myself permission write.
Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis
Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is a moving and honest psychology memoir about the things that break us and how we heal. It offers a raw view a 33-year-old wife and mother swallowed by psychosis. The psychotic episode includes meeting Jesus Christ, dancing with Ellen DeGeneres, and narrowly escaping eternity in the underworld.
Casually called a nervous breakdown, psychosis is an entrapment outside of self where hallucinations and delusions anchor. Family, doctors, and fellow patients witnessed a nonverbal, confused, distraught shell of a woman. In the security of a psychiatric care center, the week-long psychosis broke and spit out a bipolar patient in the cushioned place of middle class medicine.
Outpatient recovery consumed the better part of a year with psychiatric treatment and spiritual contemplation. Left scarred and damaged, health returned allowing her to tentatively embrace a grace and peace earned through acceptance of bipolar disorder.
Number of Pages: 224
Publisher: Tara Meissner
Publication Date: June 23, 2014