Home   |   LCS Prints Store   |   About Me   |   FAQ   

Monday, July 29, 2013

Last Week's Old Push-Pull

There I was, striving to strip a chapter of my work-in-progress of unneeded description and backstory so I could read it to my Tuesday class without getting pummeled.  In the middle of it, I received an email from a friend/client  looking for a quick turn around on an email marketing message.  Easy peasy, right?  Except his draft was so unclear, it meant conducting a phone conversation with him that ended up being five-times longer than the little writing project.   And he is nothing but exacting.  We’ll go back and forth on this piece three more times before it’s just right.  While I worked on that, another email arrived…this time from an editor looking for a 1,200-word feature article for a local magazine, which meant driving an hour south to interview an interior designer.  Yahoo, and um, when is the deadline?

When I first started writing seriously, unemployment delivered hours to write.  I got up in the morning,  worked on blog posts until my eyes blurred, then I walked, two miles, three miles, four.  I returned home, edited my daily essay and pressed publish.  Oh, the luxury.

I promised myself I would never again let life chain me to an office for forty hours a week.  But that would indicate I had control over life, and let's be honest. Who does? As a result of one of  reality's hiccups, since March, I’ve working full-time again.  The good news?  In this particular case, "full-time" means less than forty hours, thirty-two to be exact, and it’s a five minute commute.  But still.  Now, I fit the writing in at 6:45 a.m., for forty-five minutes, five days a week, and whatever I can cram in on the weekend.  I get home from my job in the afternoon and try to sit down and get more done but distractions arrive in the guise of errands, meetings and dinner to prepare.  And when there is paid writing on the line, it trumps everything. This week, the WIP languished while I tweaked the email and drafted the article and felt like I was cheating on my lover.

Probably every writer reading this feels the same push-pull I do.  I neglected Middle Passages last week and I refuse to miss two weeks in a row.  As I work on this post Saturday morning, there are windows to wash and closets to clean and a WIP jumping up and down in the background, reminding me I have so much more work to do.  Somehow today, I'll get the gardening and grocery shopping done.  But maybe, just maybe, I'll wait on washing the windows.   

They may be filthy, but when they are clean they are just a surface sparkle.  When I carve out time to write for me it validates who I am deep to the core.


Old Kitty said...

There are just not enough hours in the day!

The way I see it, you clean the windows, they look sparkly for a day or two and then they get all smudged again!

Here's to a happy and sustainable equilibrium!

Take care

Anne Gallagher said...

No matter what, you're a better woman than I. My house is a dusty jumble of clothes in baskets, and waiting dishes (either in or out of the washer). And 5 nights out of 7 we either use the microwave or eat out.

I learned I had to give something up in order to write as much as I wanted to. Domesticity lost. But that's a hard decision for some people to make.

mshatch said...

I must agree with old kitty - there are NOT enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. And like Anne, my house is not as clean as it used to be. Oh well.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a lot pulling at you. Funny how those little things end up taking far more effort than we thought.
Hope you got to work on your manuscript this past weekend. Windows can wait.

Robin said...

Something does have to give.

It's always nice to read you here, and we miss you when you're gone, but I do think everyone understands this Push-Pull.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

It is indeed so easy to fall back into old patterns when life gets more 'normal'. Sometimes it is the shake-up that really works us over and hands us a real opportunity. You know this as well as any and yet it's still hard to control every little thing. We just can't. We all do what we can and appreciate the gifts we all bring to the table.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm compromising on the housework. Hopefully no one will look to close. I have lots of writing goals to meet in the next four weeks.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Once upon a time I was a newspaper reporter and, oh, do I know about those deadlines, gotta write and gotta do it now. I wish you good things, though. I'm glad you're busy, but I hope you get quality time for the WIP soon.

Carol Kilgore said...

I completely identify with this post. It's a constant push-pull for me. And every time I think I may have the upper hand, I land on my butt and have to start over again.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

If writing validates who you are to the core, then you must make it a priority. What good are sparkling clean windows if you aren't being true to yourself?

About the windows: my hubby and I lived in an apartment for a brief while when he came home from Vietnam, and I asked the landlady about how to wash the outside of our second-floor apartment windows. She told me not to worry about them. She said, "God got 'em dirty; if He wants 'em clean, He'll wash them."

Bish Denham said...

I'm always amazed, awed and humbled by the amount of writing people do who work full time and/or have families. I'm such a lazy bum!