“I wish I had more time to write.”
I hear it all the time, mainly from myself. This is ironic, considering I am a time organizational nerd. No one loves a new organizer and packet of highlighters like me. I love the logistics behind the planning of my blocks of time, my to-do lists, and that little boost I get from marking something complete.
But then there’s that whole work/life balance thing. I know, logically, that making the time to write comes from prioritization. As I learned from Franklin Covey, it’s easy enough to identify and lock in those Big Rocks (Roles), and let the minutia avalanche of small rocks fall where they may. I may have the time, but I don’t always have the mental energy to focus on what needs to get done. Sometimes, I’m just bone tired. The body is willing, but the mind is all “Sod that.”
This especially happens when I look around my house and think about everything that needs to get done. Laundry. Dishes. Purging All The Things we don’t need, because the mess and clutter is as exhausting as most anything else. And then I have to go back to playing Big Rocks/Little Rocks and remind myself of what’s truly important.
It’s fortunate (at least for me) that I don’t have kids (by choice). But I have a full time job that I really like and that sometimes affords me the downtime I need to plan out my next story, or hack the current draft to pieces in a notebook while massive reports are downloading. It turns out this is when I tend to be most productive, because by the time I get home to my husband, I’m usually not in the mood to flip open the laptop and get to work. It’s much more tempting to flip the brain off instead.
But, dammit, I get things done. This is what I do. There’s a list, I hack and slash my way though it like Xena through a bunch of poor, hapless extras, fire off a quippy one-liner, and swan off in the satisfaction of job well done. I am, usually, a producing bad-ass.
Not lately. This is more than just needing some mental space between me and the writing in order to recharge. I should be recharged, but I’m not. I feel like a defective modem. My internal CPU is burnt to a crisp.
So here’s some things I’m looking to change:
- Get a proper amount of sleep. This means no more Netflix binges past midnight.
- Get back into shape. (Yes, I know rolly-poly is a shape.) A little less than twenty years ago I was in the theatre, a dancer, and a dance teacher. And I was good. However, I’m now nowhere near fighting trim. My diet’s more or less okay (if a little more prone to cheese than is strictly necessary). It’s the exercise I need to be getting on with, especially now that Convention season if fast approaching. I’m looking to drop twenty pounds by August, in time for my local Comic Con.
- Do something non-writing related to warm up the mental muscles. This means getting back to my piano, and practice my violin more, both of which has the added benefit of killing two birds with one stone since I’ve wanted to dedicate more time to music for awhile now. This will get the fingers moving as well as the brain, and I always feel better, physically and mentally, after having played music.
So that’s the scoop. I plan on reporting in every month during IWSG to let y’all know I’m getting on, because accountability is the best way to get my butt into gear. Even if that gear is first.
How about you guys? How do you keep the writing train going when it threatens to stall out?