Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sacrifice, or SACRIFICE?

In my mind, there are two different kinds of sacrifice. (Well, three if you count the kind where you sacrifice an animal to a diety, but come on. I think we're pretty safe to say that's not the kind of sacrifice we're talking about in relation to writing, right? ...Right?! Oh, and, lists twelve different definitions for "sacrifice," but in the Dictionary According to Peggy, there are only two.)

First, the definition I don't love so much:
Sacrifice: To dispose of something, regardless of value.

Now, the definition I really love:
SACRIFICE: To surrender something of value for something of even greater value.

P.S. I don't recommend pressing "Illegal Software."
So I guess it all comes down to this: We, as writers, sacrifice a lot. But when we sit down to write, it's seriously easy to get... distracted. Especially if we're at a really tough spot! When things are hard, it's so easy to think of something online we need to "check." Or we think that if we just spent a little time [fill in the blank], we could be more focused.

If we let ourselves get distracted, though, then we're only giving up something of value. We're doing the not-love-so-much definition. If we're going to be brave enough to sacrifice so much, we want the really-love definition! We want to get something of greater value from our sacrifice!

And yes, my friends. That takes planning.

And preparation.
And some focus.
And okay, not being lazy.
But definitely a plan.
A how-to-not-get-distracted plan.

Hmmm... Anyone have a great plan?


Nicole McLaughlin said...

Love your blog! Glad I found you. Great post. Right now I'm SERIOUSLY sacrificing. I'm not allowing myself to read (for me, this is huge!) until I get myself to a certain point in my wip. It's killing me. I want to give in so bad it hurts. But I won't. It's been 13 days now. I know it will be worth it. Now, if I could get off of blogs and email and facebook and photoshop and get to it I'll be in business! haha

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Aaah, I definitely prefer the second definition. And I agree that a great plan requires preparation and focus. Otherwise, the sacrifices end up being kind of worthless (and that's not good).

Jessie Humphries said...

Plan schman! jk..jk.. I think setting definite goals needs to be part of the plan. Pegs we need to have a goal setting teleconference soon. I think I need some help!

Mark said...

Very cool post! I think the type of sacrifice you're talking about is called love or devotion or passion. All good things in my book:)

David P. King said...

Great post and hilarious picture. How come I don't have one of those on my keyboard?

Now, I think that third option is still viable, if you have people sacrificing animals to a deity in a scene you're writing, or something.

Carrie Butler said...

Aww, but if I weren't so easily distracted, I wouldn't be blog-cruising in the afternoon. ;) You're right, of course. I need to focus more on my revisions.

Great post!

Kristine said...

That is an awesome pic! And I like your 2nd definition better too. :)

Munk said...

Love your work. My distraction is my book, not the other way around.
Full disclosure: I burn through blogs, just so that I can run back to my world.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Nicole-- I'm glad you did, too! :) And thanks! That is a HUGE sacrifice. Good luck making it to the end!

Cynthia-- Totally!

Jessie-- Goals are definitely a good plan! And I am in definite need of a good kick to get me goal-making. Yes. You, me, teleconference :) soon.

Mark-- Thanks! All good things in my book too. :)

David-- Having that keyboard would definitely make distractions easier, wouldn't it? And okay, that third option is officially still viable. Flash fiction, anyone?

Carrie-- You can totally get distracted in the direction of my blog ANY TIME. :)

Kristine-- It's always been my favorite.

Munk-- That. Is. Awesome. My book is only my distraction when I'm drafting. When (like now) I've been working on revisions for seven months straight, it is decidedly less so. :( And don't worry. I'm not going to out you as a slacker for reading writing blogs. TOTALLY a non-distracted, non-slacker thing to do.

Jolene Perry said...

No great plan.

Every time I get frustrated with how much time it takes to run around to blogs, and to check twitter, I read a great post, or connect with someone new and what it's done for my writing and my SANITY through the publishing process has made it all worth it. EASY.

Abby Fowers said...

Love definition #2 too!

I tend to get carried away on FB which can be troublesome when going to school. So I make a deal with FB until homework is DONE! Yes, all the way done for that day. Then I get my FB time. I just do the same thing with writing. I set an amount that I HAVE to complete before I let myself get distracted by all the other stuff. :D

This is a great post! Good thinking and good reminding of definition #2!

John Teal said...

I have always been firmly in the second camp, sacrifice is giving up something good for something better.


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Peggy Eddleman said...

Jolene-- That's definitely a HUGE benefit to getting distracted! One of the best, in fact.

Abby-- It sounds like you have a FABULOUS plan! I need to make my plan more like yours.

RJR-- That's awesome that you are always in that camp! Incredibly impressive.

Anunciando-- Thank you! I'm going over to check out your blog right now.