Thursday, February 02, 2006

Regularly Scheduled Program

Well I survived the wedding last weekend and have sufficiently recovered. The ceremony was beautiful, my brother and sister-in-law looked amazing and my children behaved themselves (if you don't count SP laying on the floor in front of the altar during the ceremony). I've spent the last several days catching up on the sleep I lost, slogging through the work that piled up on my desk and furiously crossing things off my to do list (see PC I can make lists I just don't usually follow them).

But the faster I work through things the longer my list seems to grow. I just got off the phone with Angel and during our conversation she mentioned the same sentiment - will there ever be a day when the to do list seems done enough that I can take the time I need for myself? For my writing?

The answer is nope. That'll never happen. Cause I don't know about the rest of you but the minute I mark something off three things jump on the line to take its place. As an example, no sooner had I finished my month end reports at work today and was about to start on an article I agreed to write for the playground when the phone rang, BG woke up from her nap and my contracting officer called with a question that prompted me to pull out files and a little bit of my hair. As I was slogging through about a ream of paper trying to find a math error in a haystack I mentally juggled my list and schedule. I can pick up SP from school, run to wal-mart to pick up the supplies I'm short on at work and some stuff we need at home (and I'll score brownie points with my girls for taking them shopping). I'll work on the article when I get home if my Darling is home from work- and ignore the guilt that this was supposed to be my short day, the day I spend extra time with my girls.

Juggling is a fact of life for everyone, whether you have small kids, work or are trying to become a published author. What's important is to prioritize. No one will make the time for you to write. You have to do that for yourself. My husband is super supportive of me and my dreams and he handles more of the household day-to-day stuff than most husbands. I'm very lucky. But I'd keel over if he ever came home and asked me if I needed time to write. It isn't that he doesn't care - he does. It's more that he doesn't think about it. Becoming a published writer isn't his dream. It's mine. It's my responsibility to make the time for myself. I'm worth it and worthy of that understanding from the people around me.

Don't get me wrong. It's easier said than done. And God knows I deal with my own brand of guilt about what I'm sacrificing in order to pursue my dream. We all struggle. We all find a way to work through the challenges in our life the best way we can. No one's perfect - least of all me. I've been letting life take my focus away for months. I've pushed through on several occasions and had been doing really well in the last month or so. And then the wedding came :0) and my hard won writing schedule went down the drain.

But tonight it's back to the grindstone. No excuses. No delays. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I'm taking a page from SPs book and committing myself to at least 1 page a night every night this month. I'm hoping to achieve more than that. But that's the minimum I'll accept from myself.

Anyone else want to post a monthly goal? I promise not to bring out my whip *evil grin* unless of course you want me to.



Playground Monitor said...

I need a program. Forgive me but I forgot what SP stands for.

Problem Child said...

Sweet Pea if I remember correctly.

I'm right there with Instigator on this. I've let my writing slide recently while I'm been stuck in one of my own "Newbie Traps." Articles for newsletters, Playground stuff...all these things that are important, but not as important as getting the silly book done. My CP keeps asking me for chapters and I duck and run--or change the subject. Pretty soon I'm going to have to be posting MY homework.

But I got 4 pages of the WIP done today. It's a start; hopefully, I'll keep that momentum running.


Angel said...

Well, at least I don't have to feel guilty about keeping everyone on the phone. That's the second blog I've inspired this week. :)

After reading this I feel totally convicted, but in a good way. I've got the same problem as PC. My critique partner is now pointedly asked when a chapter will arrive. And I have nothing to give.

I seem to perpetually put things above the writing while thinking, "If I can just get this done and out of the way, I'll have more time." Well, that's not happening. So I need to change my thinking.

I'll sit down and work out my "schedule" and get back to you.


Smarty Pants said...

I'm signing up for my 28 pages this month, although I'm already a page behind. I also need to finish judging the stack of entries on the floor in my bedroom. Did you guys get 10? I was thinking more like 5, I don't know why.

Instigator, when you were talking about SP lying on the floor in front of the alter - even though I knew *I* wasn't there, that's what I pictured - me, lying on the floor in a good dress, being bored. I forgot about Sweet Pea. :)

Ok - for this month, the only one that needs to do anything on the playground is me since I need to do the book review and update on the 15th. Everyone else - take a hiatus from all that and work on your book.