Monday, June 16, 2008

Oh dear. Oh dear

I don’t know what to make of the mess I’ve gotten myself in.

Did I write everyday? No

Did I write a page for every day, ie. 30 pages? Yes.

I wrote almost 60 pages. I got farther than I would have if I hadn’t taken on the challenge of writing a page a day for a month. It is a success, but not as much of a success as I was hoping. I am not really trying to play a game of semantics, I know what I meant when I challenged myself.

I have to consider reality, though. Do I pay my consequences of no chocolate for every day I did not write? That would equal eleven days of no chocolate. A week and a half.

But I would just like to put forth the challenges of this month that were not part of my consideration when I set forth this goal.

Half way through this goal, S had to go back to NYC to work, leaving me alone, 24-7 with a one year old and a three year old. In addition to that, my hours at the Sunset settled in to three or four days and/or nights a week. Luckily, the grandparents have been available for babysitting, but that is mostly only when I am working.

These are the results of my changing situation.
There are fewer stolen moments during the day when I can get some writing done (whether on my book or on line) like after dinner when S would take the kids out side for a constitutional while I would sneak on the computer to check emails, comment on blogs, or post/cheer on 43Things. This means that I do these things during nap time more often, so less noveling time.

I am the only one now sweeping cheerios and collecting toys and changing diapers and washing dishes and making dinner and going grocery shopping etc. That means I spend more time on chores and less… you guessed it, on writing.

I am now on duty from the moment they wake up in the morning. I have lost my extra sleep in the morning. It was anything from a few moments to a couple hours of extra sleep. I am not a person who can get by on less sleep, and because of this, I don’t have the energy or mind power at night to get much done. Is it an excuse? Quite possibly, but I wasn’t aware of the issue until a couple days ago, and not being aware of it, I couldn’t do anything about it.

I am not cooking as much, since it’s harder to cook with the kids around and I am often working at dinner time. What this means is that the kids are eating quick and/or prepared meals that I often don’t take part in. And then I forget to eat or eat crap. Which leaves me with not so much energy which means, less writing.

Plus, remember, I am working. That’s about 18-30 hours less that I have to get done all the other stuff, whether that is chore stuff, relaxing stuff, creative stuff, or working on my novel. If I work during the day, I kind of crash at night. If I work during the night, I get home and totally crash, straight from work, pretty much.

And then, the situation that is less logistical and more emotional. I’ve been kind of blue. It’s getting better, but there was quite a while where I was just unmotivated.

So this was the sitch. What is the point of my goal, though? It wasn’t to reach the goal or else. It wasn’t to punish myself. It was to develop a writing practice.

I have learned a few things about my writing practice during the past month.

One, I am writing all the time… just not on my novel. I am also working on my art. I am putting time into my writing career, time that is not just writing itself, but understanding the industry and marketing and all that…so while I have not technically been working on my novel itself every day, I have been working on writing, and I have been writing far more than a page a day counting all my projects.

Two, I need to take into account the times that are/are not working for me. Yes, 2 pm seems to be the best hour… except when I have to do some basic maintenance like shower or eat something… and except for when the kids decide not to sleep past two… and except for the days when I am working during the day… and except for the days when I have activities with my mom or other family members. Whew! That’s a lot of excepts. Maybe it’s not the best time. Night time before bed could work, but I spend some time chatting with my uncle at night… the uncle who is letting us stay here for free. He deserves the attention. Plus, my energy has gone down at night, as I noted, so it’s gotten harder to be creative.

Hey. Here’s what I decided. I am NOT going to punish myself for not writing this month. I AM, though, going to put myself back on the block and take up the challenge AGAIN. This time with the lessons from my not-so-successes.

The real punishment is and always has been that I am not writing and my own disappointment in myself. Taking chocolate away from a woman who really doesn’t have all that many luxuries, that just seems…cruel.

Back to the grindstone. No rest for the weary. I’m going to keep writing my book and I am going to build up my writing practice and finish my novel.

What do you think about that?

2 comments:

Jaime Theler said...

The life of a mom and writer - setting writing goals that don't seem to work because the kids come first, then the feelings of being bummed when you don't make those goals. I completely understand :) Just grab whatever 10 minutes you can to write throughout the day. I just popped over from Domestic Glamor so I haven't read many of your posts. What are you currently working on?

Rowena said...

Yup. The 10 minutes. I know them, but I long for extended time.

I'm revising my Science Fiction novel and working on my blogs mostly right now, taking daily photos, getting back into drawing and painting, and working on the ideas for my book on creativity and motherhood.

All this is with an eye towards some freelance writing, and selling my art on etsy, as well as actually getting my novel (it's a trilogy) published. knock on wood.

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