Excitement happens whenever I grab materials for a new writing project. Luminous neurons fire and the dropped flutter in my stomach means it’s time to begin! Pens, copy paper, some internet access, and a nice warm beverage accommodate the process. In months of baking Ian and before, there were glorious linear hours. Now, glorious scattered minutes form an hour whenever it comes. Inspired blog posts, poems, and short stories furiously land on my hard drive. In about two weeks, writer’s block and then writer’s leave of absence will take place. It’s a sad cycle that needs termination. But virtual assistance, being intentional with my time, and loyalty have all contributed help.
Accountability is a vital piece of the puzzle even if it’s to a computer system. In 2013, once again motivated by Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way I started a group of Google Docs. “Writing Plans 2013-14” was just a basic bullet point list of overarching goals for the year. This is where I described things like “have some poetry published” and “complete a story collection,” those adorable and general creatures that need their own help being fleshed out daily. From there “Writing By Month 2013-14” allowed tangible, shaved objectives for each four weeks. I would plan to finish several poems or research timeless short stories in April 2013. Further pared down was “Saturday Solace Planners.” The name arose from a lack of creatively fulfilling nine-to-five work, leaving time only on the weekend to compose. With cleaning and socializing, three or four hours were grafted. This document was the winner in terms of guiding the daily grind. I would record the times of each writing session, the tasks, and any books completed that week. As a spreadsheet, it not only kept me on track but held motivation to keep going. Such useful tools have been a spark in artistic fire.
Being let go from my previous job and not returning to an office has released new passion. One of the best conversations I’ve had regarding At-Home Mommy vs. Working Mommy was at Babies-R’-Us and lasted three minutes. This fabulous lady basically said, “All of us work: hard!” To believe I lounge in pajamas cuddling Ian and doing whatever my heart desires all day or that I’m afraid of or unfit for “real work” is utterly ridiculous. I’ve been given cloth diapers and numerous cleaning projects over LMS management and editing company letters. It’s my path, not the wrong one. I enjoy and need the rich creative time that’s now possible. It’s still a struggle around the confines of a cherished infant, but I realized there’s nothing to steal chunks of writing time anymore. I have to attempt this and silence the Inner Critic.
The uber-commitment of writing is not unlike that of marriage or church attendance. Marriage requires a constant agreement to place the lover ahead of self-interest and uphold the foundation. Church attendance means ignoring blankets and CBS Sunday Morning for thirst-quenching corporate worship and friendly faces. Failing at both reminds me to keep up pursuit, despite setbacks. The reward tips the scale.
The only thing that trumps loss of productivity is vision at work.
Thoughts? Please feel free to comment.