Friday, May 24, 2013

Vacation? Not on the List of Things to Do.

Yesterday, life changed.  Why?  It was the first day of summer vacation for our local schools.  That meant that it was also the first day we were invaded by the children of my children.  Four of them, plus the three-year-old, who is here throughout the school year, will spend the weekdays with us, until sometime in August.  I haven't yet counted the weeks.

When does the writing get done?  Whenever there's a little piece of peace and quiet.  Rare, but it does happen, even in the middle of the day.

Staying up late and working into the wee hours isn't an option for me, even during the school year.  Setting a schedule of writing from 8 to 3 or any specified time doesn't work either.  Not only are the grandchildren a constant during the week, but I also own a website design company, and requests for updates come in randomly.  But the writing still gets done, although it isn't a constant each and every day.

One of the things that helps me is the BIAW program that my writing group has twice a month.  We post our page goal for the week (first and third Sunday and ends on the following Sunday) and report the number after the last day.  My participation has been spotty this year, I'll admit, but for this week, I decided to jump in with both feet.  My goal is 40 pages.  Not so bad when factoring in that we have eight days, which breaks it down to 5 pages a day.  It's doable, but requires actually putting words to paper, sometimes after a day that screams for sleep.

This week didn't start out well.  Our group's meeting was scheduled for that third Sunday.  Because we're wrapping up a writing contest and I'm the coordinator, Sunday morning meant tallying scores sent by members who judged to determine who won.  Of course the numbers didn't add up correctly, because I was rushing to get it done, so it took more time than it should have.  With the final tally done, I had barely enough time to shower and dress, then drive to the meeting.  Except...  As I was climbing out of the shower, the tornado sirens went off in our city.  I grabbed clothes and fumbled around as I gathered the things needed to head for my oldest daughter's house, three blocks away.  The meeting was, of course, cancelled.  We were lucky and received only large hail, high winds, and a whole lot of rain, instead of what could have happened.

Monday was taken up by website work, until school was out.  After dropping off the others, I left to take my oldest granddaughter to her ice skating lessons.  Ten minutes before it was over, someone turned on the television, and I saw the pictures of the tornado that had destroyed a large area of Moore, Oklahoma.  Once home, we spent the day checking on friends in the devastated area and watching the news.  By Tuesday, the images were still burned into my brain, but I finished the website work started the day before and took donations to the ice rink for the tornado victims, while my granddaughter had another lesson.  The evening called for other things and writing was forgotten.

Along came Wednesday, with it's usual interruptions that included a Kindergarten graduation and a 5th Grade graduation.  Another day to write sinking quickly.  Once the house emptied of small people after school--the Last Day!--I sat down at the computer.  At that point, I had a total of 3 pages the day before, although I don't remember when.  It wasn't a good start, but I'd managed to write those 702 words in bits and pieces of time.  By evening, I was at my desk and netted another 4 pages (768 words), finishing a chapter.  I then moved on to a new chapter.  By the end of the day, I'd added another 7.  Wednesday's total was 11 pages.  Word count for the day was 2394.  I was up to 14 pages for the week.  Not bad for three days of sheer madness.

Thursday (yesterday) I hunkered down at my desk, amid total chaos of the first day of School's Out for the Summer, and by late night, there were 11 new pages (2224 words).  I now have 25 pages written toward that 40-page goal.  Only 15 pages to go.  I'm determined to reach it.  After all, today is only FRIDAY, and the weekend promises some quiet writing time.  Still, I wonder what and who will come along to interrupt the flow of words, because I know something or someone will.

While I'd hoped I would have the first draft of this book written by tomorrow (dream big!), it won't happen.  That doesn't mean I'll stop.  Being behind can be inspiration to keep going, to keep working toward the goal.  One bad day or even a string of them, doesn't mean it's time to quit.  Writing every day helps keep the brain in writing gear, even if it's only a page or even 100 words.  Unfortunately, life can come along and keep that from happening.

The key is to set goals.  These should be reasonable goals, set with the knowledge of the amount of time necessary to complete, along with accepting that there were always be obstacles.  Learn to work around them and overcome them.  If a goal falls short, don't toss it aside.  Continue toward it, because in time, the goal can be reached.

Once your goal is met, you can celebrate.  Take some time off to enjoy yourself.  But don't let it take over.  Even though it's summer, we still have priorities to set and work to do.  I intend to make this a prosperous time, where writing is concerned.  You'll find that life has new meaning and that pride can lead to success.
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.   ~ Tony Robbins 


Joanie said...

Terrific post, as always, and gives a real representation of how we have to make time to write--and when we do, we CAN!

I'll be sending my positive thoughts your way this weekend. You write, girl! :)


Rox Delaney said...

So good to see you here, Joanie! I've been trying to keep up with YOUR blog, but usually get interrupted before I have a chance to comment. Kids. Can't live with 'em, can't give them away. :)

Hold on to your hat. My BIAW goal was met...and exceeded. 78 pages. My mouth is still hanging open. LOL

Now for some sleep, and then hitting it again tomorrow with a goal of reaching THE END by the end of the week.