As I said in a comment earlier this week, my morning schedule was working for me. At least before Monday’s post. I may have jinxed myself. This week, my schedule looks something like this:
6:00- wake up, go downstairs to write until Mister wakes up
6:30- Mister stirs, I look at the clock and groan
7:00- I (or sometimes save-the-day-Husband) bring Mister downstairs
7:00-7:45- play while trying to get Mister to eat something that will pass as breakfast. (Yesterday he asked for chips. We compromised and he had pretzels. There goes mother of the year.)
7:45- go upstairs and get dressed
8:00- turn on Curious George, make myself look presentable(ish)
8:15- try to squeeze in a few minutes of work while Mister watches TV
The rest of the day is pretty much a repeat of the above: upstairs, downstairs, eating, playing, changing, managing the household stuff and trying to squeeze in some work. Oh and I’m also trying to finish the basement during nap time.
Janeal had some advice in her comment:
I write mostly at night, or when the kids are napping in the afternoon. My goal is to write some everyday, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Writing is hard. Schedules are harder. I try, but life happens and when it does, I go with the flow.
I’m trying to go with the flow this week, but it is hard. I was in such a good rhythm.
This isn’t the first time I’ve tried out a new writing schedule. Before Mister was born, I used to write in the afternoons. I’d sit down on my window seat right after lunch and hand write. Then, about the time the school bus came down the street, I’d go upstairs and type everything I’d worked on that day. Once it was typed I let it go until the next day.
I was very prolific this way, but with a baby everything changed.
After Mister was born, my brain still seemed to like writing in the afternoon. The problem was that Mister wasn’t napping in the afternoon. He was hardly napping at all (20 minutes at a stretch) and he wasn’t sleeping through the night. I was tired, cranky, and when I did get a chance to write, uncreative.
Then, when he got older, Mister started taking an afternoon nap. Since it is short by other kids’ standards (40 to 90 minutes tops), I often had to choose what to do during this nap. Prep dinner or write? Work on the basement or write? Fold the mountain of laundry or write? I was starting to feel like I could never get enough done.
Just recently, I decided to try mornings. The morning schedule worked for me, I think, because I was using the first energy of the day on something I feel is fulfilling. It greatly helped my attitude and made me feel accomplished before I even touched any of my other responsibilities. Plus it freed up Mister’s nap time (when I was previously writing) for other stuff like basement work and took away the stress if the nap length was less than satisfactory. If I want this to keep going, it looks like I’m going to be waking up earlier.
It seems that finding a good writing schedule and balancing it with other responsibilities is almost as hard as the writing itself. But, I still think both are worth the effort.
Posts on Writing Schedules:
The routines that work for other famous writers: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/20/daily-routines-writers/
Tips for parents/writers for creating a schedule http://www.kristiholl.com/parent_writing_schedule.htm
How to stick to a writing schedule: http://onlinewritingtips.blogspot.com/2008/11/how-to-make-writing-schedule-and-stick.html