The gentle art of procrastination has been many a writer’s downfall, mine included. I have such a limited writing life, time-wise, that there always seems to be something that can – and does – pull me away from the laptop. Self-discipline is a virtue I aspire to, but have, as of this moment in time, never fully attained. I can easily be swayed to go out to lunch with a friend, get my nails done, or finish the new Nora Roberts book because I’m at a critical point in the plot.
All of these are just flat excuses for the fact that I should be writing.
Life seems to intervene as well, though, when I’m trying to finish something, or working towards a deadline. There is always grocery shopping that needs to be done, laundry that needs to be washed, dust bunnies that need to be vacuumed, and errands that need to be run. These distractions, although necessary, can wreck havoc with a writing schedule. Having little children in the house who are not school age yet but too old to nap; doing the car pool shuffle to and from school for those that are; PTA meetings, book club meetings, play dates. All these things took me away from writing when my daughter was younger. When she got older, I needed to go back to work outside the home, so there went my dreams of a full day of writing while she was occupied with her life.
For eleven years I was basically divorced from my desire to write. Then 2013 hit and with it, I was downsized at work. What to do with the time I now had on my hands. Duh! No brainer, there.
New Year’s Eve of this year I made one resolution that I am trying ardently to stick to. On my days off from my paying job, I slot at least 6 hours of uninterrupted writing time per day. Most of that time is spent in front of the laptop, with me tapping my fingers in frustration, attempting to find the perfect words and phrases. But at least it is time that I am actively writing, not passively wishing I was. Our clothes are clean, we are not starving because there is no food in the house, and every now and then a dust bunny escapes to be dealt with another day, but the commitment to write is always present and accomplished. I even have it plotted on the calendar that hangs above my desk. Whenever I look at it, I am reminded that no matter what, this day I will writing something.
Today is my day off from work. And look what I’m doing! Success.