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Tuesday Morning Mashup in a Writer’s Life

Written by Vicki Hinze

On February 3, 2015

Warning: This is a chat session, unedited.


It’s Tuesday. It still feels like Monday.

Yesterday, I got up at 4:00 AM. I walked 2.5 miles–first time I’ve gone that far since the fall on Christmas Eve.  I felt I could conquer the world. it was going to be a fantastic day!

After the shower and breakfast, I hit the office. That’s when the workday started. It was 5:15 AM, and, while I usually get started a bit earlier, I thought I’d still have all the time in the world to attack my to-do list. That was Mistake #1.

I broke my pattern of walking then writing until I reach my goal for the day, and then attacking my to-do list, email and social media.  My fault, my error. That was Mistake #2 of the day.

I got distracted, side-tracked and the next thing I knew it was 8 AM. Words written? Zero.

Then the phone started.  Two counseling calls, both of which were important.  By the time they ended, it was 11:45 AM and I’d missed my peak creative-mode time.  For what it’s worth, this was not a mistake and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  When people call in trouble, you stop then. They need help then. You do what you can then.

Hubby put off lunch until 1:00 PM. So during that window of 11:45 to 1:00, I still couldn’t write. I had to check on marketing scheduled for yesterday. It was live–unverified, due to my delays.  I checked and all was well, but included several items that required action on my part now.  I did those things, and that took me to the 1:00 hour.

After lunch came a phone conference where I got information I needed to attack several items on the to-do list. The discussion added three new items to that list also. I prioritized them and added them.

I looked at the writing file, but the program required an update.  So did two others.  Did those, and got a priority email, which necessitated opening the mail program. 576 incoming messages awaited.  Over 200 could wait. Over 100 couldn’t.  I started working through them. By the time I finished the priority messages, it was after 3:00 PM.  Words written?  Zero.

A phone call–appointment scheduling–so I added that to the calendar and saw an alert regarding a birthday.  Handled that and now it’s 4:00 PM.

I accept that today is a business of writing day, not a writing day, so flip to the to-do list on it. Top priority note informs me that the website isn’t appearing correctly on the mobile version. I email my website gurus and peek to see if it is something I can repair.  When I isolate (I think) the problem, I phone a friend and ask her to check it.  Still a wreck. I email the gurus with the challenge and in short order find their response.  It’s going to be an easy or complex fix that requires decisions.  Expect a call after 7 PM.

There were minor adjustments needed on the site, so while waiting for the appointed call, I made them.  Checked on the support blog for more information on the challenge and tried to get educated on it.

The call came and the discussion was had. We concluded without a firm solution and agreed to tackle it at 8AM. In the interim, I needed to create a graphic and send it to them. I finished and did that at 9:30 PM.

Total hours worked yesterday:  Roughly 15. Words written? Zero.

It’s Tuesday now,  7:50 AM. I’ve spent this morning, thus far, trying to clean up the website on the server. The mobile version still isn’t working as it should, but I can now get the front page of the site to appear on the phone. That’s progress.

My point in sharing all this is that some days writers don’t write. Some days, they have to focus on the business end of writing and make peace with it. Sometimes things click and you write 20 pages before lunch. Sometimes you can’t get to a point where you can open the file.

It’s all important and part of the writer’s life. You can fight it or gripe about it, but you still have to do it, and that makes griping just a time-suck and a waste of good energy. Instead, tackle the highest priority items first, and do the best you can.

I can tell you this. Highest priority is writing. Without it, there’s no need for all the rest. And that works out well most days. But there are exceptions when the business side of things or your personal life just can’t wait. When that happens, you do your best, you take note so you can adjust those things in your control to have fewer days of writing zero and more days of reaching your writing goals.

What you don’t do is beat yourself up when you can’t reach those goals. When the business or life interferes with your writing objectives. You adjust, you remain flexible, you accept that it’s all essential to your writing career, and you do your best at whatever you’re doing when you’re doing it.

At least, that’s what you do if you are of a mind to retain balance–read that, your sanity–and to avoid pits of frustration, irritation, annoyance and other negativity. If you can’t do that, maybe writing should be a hobby and not a career. If it is a career, adopt a healthy attitude and work to maintain emotional balance.

Because one thing is certain.  There will always be interruptions, changes of plans. Sometimes you’ll have a Plan A day. Others, you’ll zoom through to Plan ZZ.  Prioritize and accept it. It’s not at all odd.  For writers, it’s normal.

8 AM. Time for the phone conference!

Have a blessed day!



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