Last week while at my bi-weekly nail appointment, the conversation at hand involved the passing of time. She remarked that she found her calendar from 1999 and was shocked to see that some days she booked appointments from 8:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m. "Can't believe I worked that many hours," she said. I reminded her that at the time she had only two kids.
She now has six, and not only works at her business four days a week, but home schools her children, takes care of a house, and, AND her children range in ages from one to thirteen, so there in itself a Herculean undertaking. Not to mention, she's begun this business, too. OY! She is fabulous! (She is So going to do my next profile picture.)
And I bemoaned, "Shoot, now that I'm not working you'd think I'd have scads of time to write."
She said, "Last year I thought to try something...I made a schedule. Stuck with it for a few months, and then slowly it shifted." But, she mentioned that it developed a habit that she maintains to this day.
Funny, when I worked full time I managed to keep the house clean, including laundry and raising a child. As the writing beast sang its teeth into my muse, I still managed to keep a clean house, raise a child and write each and every day for hours. HOURS. Like clock-work. Like I had a...
Schedule! Even back in my single-girl days my roommate and I had a set schedule. Monday nights, laundry; Tuesdays, vege-out; Wednesday, party night; Thursday, clean house; Friday through Sunday, party time.
Why can't I see the damn answer to my problem? Okay, I can, but it's going to take some major habit changes. Fall semester begins on August 30th; I'll be in classes Mondays and Wednesdays. This should be easy, right?
Not so easy. Discipline is a practice, one that eludes me but is an important cog in the scheduling wheel. I've had a reactive summer, putting out fires, starting house projects, the written word minimally squeezed in. Good intentions fallen as life controlled me.
It's time to take back control, but first it's necessary to picture the possible as well as entertain changes. And then there's the guilt to factor in. Many times before I've set out on a scheduled path, and when sidelined I'd waste time ruminating over it. This time I need to accept that life will intervene...
As well as the Evil Inner Critic, the EIC. EIC visits from time to time, either as a result of TMI, or my sudden lack of self confidence. I must accept that which I cannot change. (Apologies to the twelve step program for stealing their line. All things considered, I am trying to get rid of a habit.)
I follow others examples, writers I've met along this path who perpetually awe me, two in particular. This one has five children. FIVE! And still manages to meet writing deadlines, as well as help others along the way. Me for example. Five or six years ago as I struggled with a query letter, she offered a helping hand. Her words resonante still. "You can do it, Kath! You can!"
Kindness comes from those who brilliantly multi-task and pay it forward, I have found...
Especially with this author. I mention her often because she has offered insurmountable assistance as I march (sometimes sloth) down the writing path. Children, she has four, the youngest a wild child from another universe, I swear. Those who know her well also recognize her selfless determination to help people with non-writing problems. And through all her wild-child taming and the helping of others, she continues to meet her editor's deadlines.
There are so many other writers I know who juggle the seconds, minutes and hours, pledging time to write, such as this one, this one and this one (new mommy with a new book deal - yay!). I feel fortunate to personally know such talented and selfless writers who chronically inspire. Whenever I sit and wonder how I'm going to intermingle writing with school and household maintenance, the lifestyles of these writers first come to mind. They have mastered multitasking. Inspiring, indeed.
For me the major component in finishing a project is sculpting out the time to accomplish it. Habits form, good and bad, although the bad so much fun and evilly distracting. This upcoming week I shall make a concerted effort to create a schedule that will meet my needs. I can do it! But would love any and all advice offered in my quest.
Bring on the advice. Cheers!