Wednesday, February 3
On Taking The Time...
Nothing is wrong with thinking about any of those things.
Everything can become wrong if I only focus on those 'what will be things' things.
You all know I'm on an organization kick, and that my word for the year is FOCUS - focus so I can get the projects done, focus so I can enjoy the little moments, Focus, focus, focus.
Monday was a bad writing day for me. I had a goal of 3,000 words and ended up with barely 1,500. Not a bad wordcount? No, it isn't. But it wasn't my goal and I kind of beat myself up about it. While we were eating dinner I was thinking about how I could squeeze another 1,500 words out instead of listening to my kid tell me about her spelling test. While RadioMan and I were watching a DVR'd episode of The Blacklist I was thinking about how, if we just waited to watch the episode, I could definitely get those words in. When bebe and I were reading her bedtime story, the same thought was going through my head: stop reading, just make her go to bed, you have work to do, this is important stuff!
We finished the chapter, but I read as fast as I could. RadioMan wanted to hang out in the TV room, but I blew him off and went to my office and shut the door. And sat at the computer. The words were gone. I had no idea what to write. I futzed around on Facebook for a few minutes. I opened the manuscript doc again. Still no words. I needed 1,500 words, dammit, why weren't they coming to me?
I went back out to the TV room and announced we could watch a show. I had my spiral notebook with me, just in case the words started to come. He wouldn't notice if I wrote just a little during the show. But RadioMan was already watching basketball and enjoying the game. He didn't want to spend time with me! Waah! Of course, I'd already blown him off, half-listened during dinner and fumed my way through a bedtime story. All because I'd had errands and laundry and grocery shopping to do - the same as every Monday morning - that had taken me longer than usual.
Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up and realized what I'd done with my day: I had wasted it. Not because I didn't hit my wordcount, but because of all the ways I tried to make the words flow instead of taking the time with my family. I'd lost the point of my word for the year, and instead of focusing on the moment - be it a writing moment or a wife moment or a mommy moment or a friend moment - I'd thrown it away. In the grand scheme of things, taking those 15 minutes to really be into bebe's bedtime story didn't throw off my wordcount. Watching that show with RadioMan didn't. Having a family dinner didn't.
It was just a bad day, filled with a lot of obligations. I'd scheduled too much into a single day and didn't take that into account when I made out my wordcount goals for the week - I was focused on the end-goal of having this book completed so I could start on the next rather than knowing that this book will, in fact, be finished on time and that 1,500 words isn't going to throw my whole schedule into a tailspin.
So, while my word for the year is still FOCUS, and that focus still requires a schedule, I'm going to remind myself not to over-schedule...because if I can't read a book with my kid or laugh at the TV with my husband, what the heck is the point?