Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Selected Neglect

Do you ever feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day? I do. Practically every day, as a matter of fact. Some days I really feel time challenged, and other days my energy gives out first.

Years ago, as a time challenged young mother, I first heard about selected neglect. A mother of many children was asked just how she managed. She said, “Simple. I operate on a system of selected neglect.” I found that idea exactly suited my needs and it helped me get through the maze of raising children. Now the children are gone, (well mostly), but I am still time challenged.

I started 2010 with an agenda of dejunking and organizing. I selectively neglected almost everything else. Next I decided to put a little more thought and planning into my piano practicing and teaching. Dejunking and organizing went to the back burner. My writing hasn’t been on the hit parade for a few days, and so today, I was on my computer at 5:00 a.m. doing a little catch up. Because of selected neglect, I was able to carve out some writing time.

I didn’t come up for air til about noon, and it was enough to start a new project, which I am excited about. It is difficult for me to write in snatches. I really prefer having big time slots to work with, but the reality is that seldom happens. So I am looking for suggestions on how to use those mini-moments to make strides in my writing. Tell me how you do it? What works for you?

And while I am admitting to being (gasp) time challenged, I would like to share with you my writing goals for January. That will help me be more accountable.

1. Submit two picture book manuscripts to a publisher. The manuscripts are finished, they just need submitting. The titles are Grudge Rock and A Jar of Love.

2. Finish my chapter book version of Way to Go Grace. It’s about half done. The picture book version of Way to Go Grace has been in the hands of a publisher for a very long time. I’m not worried about it. I figure the longer they hold on to it, the more seriously they are considering it.

3. Write a chapter a week on my new project. This is something special and new.

4. Schedule at least four Some Secrets Hurt presentations in elementary schools, for February.

I am on a roll with 1, 2, and 3. Number 4 has become a little sticky. First, my publishers told me they would arrange for my school visits. They ran into opposition and dropped the ball. They invited me to pick it up. I, too, am experiencing a few roadblocks. Principals are reluctant to open this can of worms. They know the statistics and understand that kids are at risk, but I think they are afraid of the fall-out.

I’m not giving up easily. This is such important work. There is nothing threatening about Some Secrets Hurt, and there is nothing threatening about my presentation. I feel that we owe our kids the opportunity to say no, the opportunity to tell, and the opportunity to grow up in a safe environment. Education is the key.

If you agree with me, how about calling your child’s principal, and suggesting a presentation for your school? My presentation is great for kids of all ages. I love doing presentations for parents and women’s groups as well.

I have been invited twice to share my presentation with High School Students, who have loved it. Would you have guessed that high school students would be interested in a picture book? What do they know that we don’t know?

What are your goals for January? What do you do when you’re in a time crunch? And (drum roll please) the question everyone wants to know: Do you operate on a system of selected neglect?

Linda Garner


If you haven’t heard, Some Secrets Hurts was written to prevent sexual abuse, by empowering children and teenagers to take control of their own bodies. Feel free to visit my website, www.somesecretshurt.com.


L.T. Elliot said...

I'm not sure I understand the theory of selected neglect. I am time dificient though so I'm always up for new ideas!

Carolyn V. said...

Does it have to do with not getting the laundry done, Because I am a pro at that! =) Especially when I am writing.

Linda Garner said...

Oops! Sorry, Laura. I guess I didn't explain it very well.

It's about choosing to put something on the back burner so that you have time to do something else. Like when my kids were babies, I chose to neglect washing windows, in favor of washing diapers baby bottles.

That's it Carolyn. It's about choosing to neglect laundry, so that you have time to write.

I'm always frustrated that I can't do everything, so it helps me feel good about my choices.

Love, LG

Janae' said...

I hope you can speak at EVERY school in America about your book!! It is about time someone is brave enough to do it and I think it is sad that the administrators are not knocking on your door and you are not booked for the next five years and don't have time to write anymore because you are too involved in speaking on it. :). Ok, enough said :)