Saturday, 30 March 2013
Distracti...oooh! Shiny things!
I'm going to write, I tell myself, I am NOT going to be distracted and I'm going to use the time while my carer and her daughter are out of the house to write. Then something shiny comes along and my attention is elsewhere. I'm sure a lot of you have experienced something similar. I know that I have my priorities in life, as most people do. As far as work goes, my priorities are something like this:
1. Uni work - it has to come first because otherwise I won't get my degree and it'll have all been a waste. I generally don't have difficulty sticking to this priority because there are deadlines and such that I *have* to stick to or else I'll fall behind. The added bonus of having a good work ethic in that regards is that I don't generally fall behind unless something pushes me. For example, ill health pushes me behind, which I'm sure you'll all agree is a valid reason.
2. Book work - I ranked this as number two because it does have it's own deadlines, but they are more fluid and flexible than the deadlines associated with number one on the list.
3. Hobbies (i.e Ukulele & Crafts) - I'm sure you're all aware that I do play the Ukulele and I also do cross-stitching in my "spare" time. Again, ranked lower because although there are some deadlines, they are usually set by myself and not some anonymous person who will get mad if they are not finished.
That's my working deadline list. Now things don't always go to plan. I have a weekly schedule that I try to stick to throughout the week, but things like getting sick or Miss D not being at school changes that schedule. For the past couple of months, since I have been unable to drive, my schedule has gone out of the window. Normally, I would dedicate Monday and Tuesdays to my uni work and for the most part that is still the case. I do half the work on Monday and the rest on Tuesday and that works for me. I'm usually done with uni work by the afternoon and depending on how I am feeling depends on how I spend that time.
Now I know you're all thinking that it gives me a lot of time to write and how come I haven't finished my two works in progress yet. If life were simple and things always went to plan that would be a good question...it would also mean a boring life, but that's not the point. Say that I write off the Monday and Tuesday afternoons, class them as free time. That means I would be free to jam on my Ukulele or stitch to my heart's content. I have other hobbies sure, but those two are the main ones. It doesn't work like that. Usually on a Wednesday I'll sleep late. I've been doing that for a number of years since I got sick and it's classed as my "day off".
So, it's a day off and I don't have to write, correct? I mean, I'd still have Thursday and Friday to do some writing and I could use the middle of the week to do something that isn't considered work. It's usually what I do. I'll either put a show on and stitch or I'll try and hammer out some videos or tunes on my Uke. So, we're onto the last two days of the working week. Thursday and Friday - what do I do on those days? Normally, I'll get up on a Thursday and I'll tell myself; "Joey, you HAVE to write a chapter today!" Normally, I aim to
get four chapters written each week, two of each book. However, since I had the relapse, I've been letting myself get away with two chapters a week. I know what you're thinking, a chapter on Thursday and a chapter on Friday. Easy! What am I complaining about?
I hate to break your bubble, but as many writer's will attest to, it's not that easy. Plus I'm not complaining. I'm simply saying that despite giving myself that pep talk every Thursday and Friday, it sometimes doesn't work. I feel guilty doing other things. I get distracted by something online, something on Facebook that I must share with the world. A funny GIF on Tumblr. A friend wanting to talk on the phone. It may not be true for everyone, but it doesn't take much to get me off the writing path.
However, it's not all shiny things and bad news, sticking to my schedule sometimes helps me to hash out the chapters I'm working on. They mean that sometimes, on one of my non writing days, I'll open the Word document and BAM! Two chapters and I'm still going. It just doesn't always happen like that. Even when you discount the editing process and all the other things that go along with preparing a book for publishing. You still have to take into account the distractions along the writer's path.
If it were only as simple as to open a document and type, well then there would be a lot more books in the world. Every writer, at some point in their career, will get distracted. Sometimes it's with these kinds of posts where we wish to share our experiences with others. Sometimes it's with something out of our own control like family issues. And sometimes it's just with something that makes us laugh on the internet. Be patient with us, and if you're a writer, be patient with yourself - it'll come better when you don't force it.
Now, I'm going to go and write Chapter Forty-Thr...ooh! Shiny new GIFS!