The Mystery of the Chime The odd chiming started last Sunday morning, after my husband had left for work. I blamed his camera, but that was not the culprit. I put my iPhone, iPod, and iPad (yes, I have a lot of iThings) on my desk while I worked to see if any of them might be the source of the annoying noise: silence.
The sound was intermittent and unpredictable. We scoured the house. We were able to determine that the chime was not coming from the fire alarms, the kids’ iPods, or the dog. I asked my friends on Facebook. They offered good suggestions: the dishwasher (who knew?), old computers, and tiny devices that send out random beeps, like the Annoy-a-tron. One friend suggested it might be my biological clock. (Do they chime?)
Three days later, I was out with a friend and heard the chiming again. Perhaps it really was my biological clock. Or, I was losing my marbles. The chime followed me around as I did errands. The offender? My iPod. It chimed each time I had new email. Since I don’t use my iPod for email, I did not recognize the sound. Why it did not chime while it was on my desk for hours on end—I will never know. I have now turned off its sounds, so it will not chime again.
The Lesson of the Chime This experience got me thinking: what if our most precious writing ideas chimed until we wrote them down? What if our unfinished manuscripts whined like hungry children until we gave them the attention they crave? What if we had a creativity clock that rang to remind us our writing time was at hand? Would that get us to write?
Write something. This past week, I asked a group of clients what motivated them when they had difficulty working on their goals. One offered the phrase, “Some is better than none.” I like that. Many of my clients have said that they cannot write unless they have at least three hours of silent, uninterrupted time. Others want a whole day to devote to their work. Me, too! But long days devoted solely to writing are hard to come by and tough to endure. Better the practice, “some is better than none.” Write some words every single day, knowing that some progress is better than no progress.
To those of you who hear your creativity clock ringing, calling you back to your work, hear this: write something today. Jot down a few words, write a paragraph, outline a scene—just get your ideas on paper. Don’t let the day pass without honoring your gift. Write!
Sound the Chime. I’ve long wondered if writers who participate in #fridayreads on Twitter might also add #fridaywrites to their repertoire of tweets — letting the twitterverse know that we are honoring our creative calling and writing! Agree? If so, please take a moment to promote this blog post on Twitter, Facebook, or your own blog. Leave a comment below to let me know what you did to spread the word. Everyone who helps will be entered into a drawing to win the book, Write Faster, Write Better by David A. Fryxell.
Speaking of Winners. We’ve had a number of contests in the past week, and its time to announce the winners:
Jennifer won Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
Nikki won The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley
Juliette won Shame the Devil by Debra Brenegan
Elizabeth won Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle
Winners, send me your snail mail addresses via email, and I will mail you your prize. The rest of you: spread the word about the blog and #fridaywrites, leave your comment about what you did below, and cross your fingers! You might be the next winner!