Some days are more laborious than others. Some days everything collides, and finding time is like catching your breath on a sinking ship.
I find that one of my biggest problems is having too many other things to do other than writing. Even if I put my writing quota first, everything else weighs heavily on my mind. Cleaning the house. Playing with the kids. Working on a community project I’m spearheading. It nags at me until I pay attention to these other projects. I fight it, wanting to write first. But these other to-do list items are sneaky and they manage to memorize me, tricking me into thinking they are important and interesting and should be done right then and there too.
I work very hard at finding balance. I don’t’ think I should be working on my projects when my kids are awake and needing my presence. So I pre-determine work time and I try to stick to it, batting away the distractors that come to mind when I’m trying to make my word count.
Today I went to Starbucks. I wish we had a cute, mom n’ pop coffee place around here, but alas I live in a cultural wasteland. So Starbucks it was. I was a little late getting out the door since I let my husband sleep in and was busy feeding and entertaining the kids at 5:30 in the morning and that’s never an easy task, especially when the little one decides she’s done with her hot cocoa and throws i ton the ground–after she dipped her bagel in it, which now is a soggy mess on the table. But eventually I dragged myself out of the house and had about 1.5 hours to write in peace before my husband had to take my son to karate and my morning weekend work time was over.
As a side note: I highly recommend carving out time outside of the house to write. There is something about the change in scenery that pushes you to be more productive.
Anyway, I got 1000 words done. It was a struggle. I wrote 500, and then fiddled around with my project ideas and answered emails. I should have used Freedom (internet blocking productivity software), but I didn’t. So I fooled around on other things and then I wrote another 500 words. And then I was out of time.
Came home, entertained my daughter while the guys were gone, felt gross 28-week-pregnant fatigue and lazed around with the kids for lunch while we watched Maleficent, backwards rationalizing to myself that surely watching a fantasy movie was good for my craft.
And here I am, nap time (not for me, for the little people in the house). I finished my remaining 700 words of my quota, worked on my flash fiction piece, and now I’m about to plan my schedule for next week before possibly squeezing in more community organizing.
But I’m sure the kids will wake up before then, screaming for this or that, and then my next phase of work will commence after bedtime.
But hey, at least I got stuff done. It’s not ideal, but for most of us our realities require squeezing in productivity whenever we can, so I make the best of it, maintaining a personal motto of “find a way to get it done no matter what.”