Sunday, August 17, 2008

Don't Quit Your Day Job

Creating and A Day Off

Several weeks ago I scheduled a vacation day. I thought my daughter may have extended performances in her summer drama program, but when I found out that wasn’t going to be the case, I decided to keep the day off and play full-time writer.

One of my most common errors is thinking there’s fifty hours in one day as apposed to just twenty-four. The goals I have for myself are often unrealistic. I’m still working on finding believable ways to manage my writing time, but until then I try to appreciate days when I am productive. So with that in mind, my writing vacation day was productive…
First, I encouraged my children to stay up as late as possible the night before my day off. They tend to be night owls like me, so this was a pretty easy task. School starts this week and then everything will become more regimented than I prefer. “Watch another TV show? Sure! Read endlessly in you room? Okay!” I don’t know when they conked out because I went to bed at my regular time.

I woke up with my husband, who didn’t have the day off. I made coffee, let the dog out and puttered around until he left, slightly after 7am. I fired up my computer and went to it. The night before I had mapped out block hours of how I would accomplish my goals. Two straight hours of solid, non-stop writing sounded great on paper, but now stuck after only twenty minutes, maybe I needed to revamp. I went and put a load of laundry in the machine, snuggled with the dog a bit, and voila! I broke through my block. I rushed back over to my computer and feverishly typed away. I continued in this manner until early afternoon and I managed to write five whole pages (single spaced by the way)! Of course my mind began to wander, See, if I was writing full time, I would be so productive! Words would flow onto the page and I’d have so much time to keep up with every aspect of my life!

Much like the fifty hour days I dream of, I must remember that this is extremely unrealistic. Just like any other job, there would be good days and bad days. Some days, the regular world would intrude and I’d accomplish nothing! I’m grateful for my vacation day and it is fun to fantasize about writing full-time, kind of like the winning the Lottery fantasy. Now that my children are getting older and I’ve earned more vacation days at work, I’ll probably be able to have more of these types of days. For now, I need to get my head out of the clouds and find a realistic writing schedule that I can live with. With the kids going back to school, I worry that all of my writing will be on permanent hold. I must go back to the drawing board and figure out how many real hours I have and what’s the best way to use them.

Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Kelly Pollard said...

It's amazing what we can accomplish in our creative lives when we allow ourself a whole day dedicated to our craft. I know for me, I discovered that leaving my house for a few hours (no laundry, phone calls, etc.) has worked out great. Good luck!