I love those perfect writing days. The ones where I can check every item off my writing to-do list and my heart swells with satisfaction at a job well-done. But those are few and far between.
I know my limits
Most weeks I need to decide what I can get done based on the hours available and my fatigue level. I’m a morning person, by 9 pm my brain is often mush. Therefore, I rarely attempt to write after 8 pm. I’ve done it, but I don’t plan it.
Writing around a work schedule and homework
Then I must factor in my work schedule. The days I work eight hours I pencil in smaller projects such as writing blogs or critiquing a piece or two. Editing a chapter of my WIP or if I’m super inspired, I’ll write a rough new chapter. Again, knowing the later it gets, the less productive. Add to that, every week day hubby picks granddaughters up from school, and we help with homework. Frustration abounds for me with the new core curriculum and no phonics. It can be an energy and creativity drainer. Making my brain turn to mush earlier.
Organizing my days off
On my days off I may need to take my mother to a medical appointment. I may have a hair appointment or some other meeting that cuts into my productive time. Let’s not forget the never-ending cleaning of the house. (Which as a writer we pretend is not needed until company is coming. Actually, that is me always. 😊)
Working around a week of interruptions
Then there are weeks when schedules have to be set aside for more important things. This is one of those weeks. A friend’s funeral takes precedence over my schedule. My husband and I volunteered to pick up another friend at the airport yesterday, and the wake is today and the funeral tomorrow. I want very much to be a part of my friend’s send off. So, rather than freak out about what I can’t get done I redo my to-do list.
Knowing the funeral would change what I had planned for later in the week, I made adjustments. Monday and Tuesday, I critiqued other writer’s projects and got a smaller project of mine revised and sent off early. Wednesday, I wrote this blog and did some revisions on my novella before I took my mom to the doctor. Then we picked up my friend at the airport, which included flight delays. They had us playing the waiting game. I took out my notebook and sketched out a speech and research questions for my novel while we waited.
Today my plan was to get up early, post this blog and do what I could before work. I work four hours this afternoon. So, I’ll check my to do-list for what I can accomplish this morning. After work I’ll go to the wake and spend time with many who loved our friend. I have no plans to write tonight. But it could happen.
Friday is normally my write-for-six-hours day. But the funeral and meal after will take up most of my day. I’ll do what I can before it and, if I feel up to it, I’ll do something afterward. But I have no plans for tomorrow. Emotional days are not always ideal for creativity.
Saturday I’ll use to catch up on my writing new chapters and revisions. But if old friends are in town from the funeral and want to get together, I’ll do that and reorganize my to-do list next week.
A New Attitude about interruptions
A writer’s life is always interrupted. Our best-laid plans can get side-tracked. We can get bitter about all the time robbing, or we can get better at using the time we have each day. I am no expert on time-management. My emotions and exhaustion from the day can weigh heavily on what gets done. But I remind myself of a quote from Anne of Green Gables. “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.” Then I wake up on that tomorrow and begin all over again.