a blog for those of us who get off track
Hello! Last Moonday Mania I told you how badly I needed to reorganize my writing life. How I’d life and work had pushed me off track. And I promised this week to tell you how I’ve gotten back on the writing track. If you missed that post, you can check it out HERE.
It hasn’t been easy. Like everyone else I let things distract me. Work. Kids. Life. But the worst distraction is resistance. If you’ve read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, you know what I’m talking about. (I did a post on The War of Art a few years ago, HERE) Resistance is that thing you do to yourself whenever you come up with excuses why you shouldn’t be working.
Here are some of my latest:
- My family, house, parents need me.
- I don’t have enough time to do a good job.
- I need to be by myself, at my special spot, with my particular cup of deliciousness…and the sun needs to be just right.
Some of that is true. Okay, it’s all true some of the time, but some of these things are just roadblocks I put up so that I don’t sit down at the computer and work. And the way I normally get around these roadblocks is that I have a schedule. Here’s my typical week-day schedule before the new job and when the kids are in school.
- 5am -Get up, make coffee, sit at computer and try to wake up while dealing with emails and social media
- 7am-Get dressed, make husband lunch, eat breakfast
- 8am-10 walk dog, take shower, get small things done around house.
- 10am-3pm write (This includes my 45 minutes on computer and 15 minute breaks to move around, as well as a break for lunch)
After that, kids get home and I change gears. This has been a terrific schedule for me. I get a lot of writing done and I am able to exercise, pay attention to my kids and the dog, and I have the afternoon for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, or whatever I need to do.
But now I’m working in the mornings. And the kids are home for the summer. And it’s all gone to hell.
Do I have reasonable excuses for not getting the writing done? Yes, I do. I’m a smart person and I want to write. But writing is hard. It’s full of self-doubt and editing and those moments where I stare at the screen and think “What in the world comes next?”
Writing, for me, is best done between 10 and 3, by myself, at my tiny portable TV table in front of my back window where I can see nature and the sky and no one bothers me because the house is empty.
But that’s not my reality this summer.
Reality is two crabby teen-agers who get moving right around the time I want to get to work. Who ask me questions and make noise and want me to drive them places. Reality is the job that I’ve taken on that gets me home most days around noon, so I have to have lunch and time to recover. Right? And at that point it’s nearly 1pm and I’m tired and don’t want to start working at the book. Besides, the dog missed her walk and I have things to do.
You get the point.
My job isn’t that hard, and it’s not full-time. I have plenty of time and energy when I get home.
My kids are big, they can fend for themselves.
My things to do can all be reshuffled. Including the dog.
So, the first thing you need to do to resist resistance is to recognize it. Recognize that my objections are not insurmountable. I have time. I have hours in the afternoon. I have a way to get the dog walked, the house cleaned, and the teen-agers entertained. It’s called: get them to do the work. Get them out of the house, or get me out of the house. That only leaves me with one excuse.
After I come home from work I don’t want to start writing so I come up with all kinds of reasons not to. But they are all just excuses. So how do I get around my resistance once I’ve recognized it?
Next week I’ll let you in on my resistance secret. The way that I have encouraged myself to stop sandbagging and to get back to writing.
Oh, and Camp NaNoWriMo starts July 1st! I’ll be majorly writing then and you can join me! I’ll have some details on Camp NaNo next week as well.