Empty bird feeders & the writing life

IMG_1393.jpgThe bird feeders are empty again, and the little creatures are pecking around hoping to find some stray remnants on the ground below. Sorry, friends. I was gone all day yesterday and not back until late in the evening. I’ll re-supply the feeders later after I attempt to catch up with my Blogging 101 work. In the meantime, my feathered friends, keep looking for those forgotten seeds.

The previous assignment (“Be a Good Neighbor”) where we were to leave comments on four other blogs we’ve never commented on before, was interesting and rewarding, mainly because it forced me to carefully read the blogger’s post. By doing this, I am not short-changing the writer with some quick glib comment, rather offering my thoughts on what it was she had to share.

One post I enjoyed was titled “Managing my time as a writer” from the Flotsam & Jetsam blog. I think the author, maryruth, expresses the same feelings I have been battling for a long time:

My never-ending problem has always been how to organise myself.

She nails it, too, when mentioning all of the “non-writing stuff” that crops up and drains our time. It would be so wonderful to be able to just write and ignore all of the clutter that keeps us from doing so! Somehow life tends to get in the way.

After considering what she wrote, and leaving a comment, I began to realize that the empty bird feeder outside my window is like the writing life itself: Full for a time but soon empty, with so many dependent winged creatures scratching about in the snow below.

They hunt and peck for a while and then fly off in search of seeds elsewhere. And the feeder stands empty, still.

But then they’re back! Once again they forage and rummage about, and I can almost hear them grumbling among themselves, throwing angry and disappointed glares my way as I write and watch them scrabbling away, laying the guilt trip on me.

Blogging 101’s Day Nine: Get Inspired By the Neighbors has led me to realize, once again, that there is so much more to being a disciplined writer than just writing. We do our best to write when we can…and also make sure the bird feeders get refilled!

On to Day 10.


11 thoughts on “Empty bird feeders & the writing life

    1. One easily gets “hooked” on watching them. I just now returned from purchasing another bag of the seeds and have refilled the empty feeder. I see four or five smiling out there now! Now, back to the novel. Have a good one, Jill. 🙂

  1. It seems my real-life demands interfere less with my writing than my online demands. Finding that balance between social media, promotion, and writing can be difficult, and if we’re not careful, soon all our screen time is eaten up before we’ve written a word!

  2. Carrie: How right you are! I think part of getting myself organized is to try to find a balance between my “real-life” tasks, blogging, and writing time. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m finding that establishing a more regular routine each morning is paying off–at least for the present, anyway. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the nice comments, Mark. It’s good in a way to know that we’re all struggling with the same issues! Where you live looks wonderful & I love your empty bird feeder analogy. I’m in a very different environment – the crazy city of London, although I’m in the south of the city and it’s actually quite rural with large commons and foxes wandering up and down the streets.

    I wonder if you’re a full time writer. I teach part time but am still on holiday for a couple of weeks. I’d love to give it up and focus on my writing but right now it’s not really possible. Something to aim for though. 🙂

    1. Hi. Your “crazy city of London” is a place I would love to visit. I’ve done so many times through the Dickens classics and the Sherlock Holmes adventures, but maybe some day in the flesh! And those foxes wandering about the streets are intriguing. Being a retired teacher, I suppose I could be considered a “full time” writer. Enjoy the rest of your holiday and keep aiming high. 🙂

  4. As the Bard once wrote: ‘To be, or not to be, that is the question’. Is it better to knuckle down and get the job done, or to feed the birds and diminish their distractions? It seems you’ve gone with the maxim ‘Writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair’. Lovely work!

    1. Hi, Grace. I love your literary quotes you share here. How appropriate! And you are right on when you point out that there is no other way to accomplish any writing except using the “seat of the pants” method. Thanks for commenting and please come back. 🙂

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