When I’m not working on client stuff, and I’m not cooking meals and being domestic, and I’m not working on my second job (I still can’t believe how much I’m enjoying working for the government), I’m taking the time to write.
I’m carving out tiny bits of time here and there. I’m feeling overwhelmed on a regular basis. Family life has changed dramatically in the last month as our household has grown to include three additional souls. We moved in September to a larger place (which was, as it turns out, done just in the nick of time!)
I love the new place, but wish I had time WITH my man to do little things like finish arranging furniture to be more “us” and to hang a few pictures on the walls. That would be nice.
Right now, it’s not happening. We are barreling down on the holiday season, so I don’t think it will be happening any time soon. There are a slew of other unexpected demands on our time that keep pulling us away from the tasks we would like to start (or complete).
Overall, life is pretty sweet, despite all the challenges. And, as always, I cope by writing. When I get so stressed out that I can’t bear my own company, there is only ONE cure — I must write.
I realized the other day that writing is the one thing I do that can turn a horrible day into a great one. That’s quite a feat! It’s not something I’ve always known, I had to be taught. I have always known that finding the time to write made me happy, but I didn’t know that stopping everything else and TAKING the time to write could turn around a crappy day.
My boyfriend helped me figure that one out. He always asks me how my day is — not the kind of “how are you” that people ask you on the street and never pause to hear the answer and not the “how was your day” which is just a segue for many people to endure one or two sentences from you before driving a truck over you to tell you about their own. He really wants to know. And when I’ve had a rough one, he asks why. And when it’s been good, he asks why.
Sounds simple, huh? Well the other day, my morning was horrid. And by the afternoon, it was good. He asked me what turned it around. I told him I took off an hour to write on my novel. I went to a restaurant, sat down, ordered myself something to eat and typed. This was a luxury I’d never permit myself on a normal day.
I didn’t stop and I didn’t slow down. I just typed. I stopped only to eat my meal and in between bites, I typed some more.
I left the restaurant with an inspired feeling and a short scene to my novel in first draft form. And, I felt like I was walking on clouds! Even the guilt for eating out alone didn’t blemish my joy… much.
So now, I try to squeeze in some time to write. This is the first year in the last three that I didn’t stress out trying to do the daily blog in November. And that “write a novel in a month” deal is insane for me (it depressed me before and made me feel like a loser of gargantuan proportions.) I didn’t want to feel that way again this year. I’d do it if I were independently wealthy and didn’t have the kids all at home (not to mention the other demands on my time.) I just can’t even bear to try it again this year. Maybe next year.
Now, I’m using my iPhone’s recording feature to capture ideas when I’m driving down the road, I’ve loaded up podcasts of famous writers and writing topic courses and inspiration from iTunes University. I use the Amazing Note app to capture snippets of thoughts when wake up in the middle of the night with something on my mind, and no pencil or paper in sight. I carry a book with me everywhere I go. I purchased a small moleskine to keep with me again (I’d gotten out of that habit some time back), and I pay extra close attention to the people around me and the environments I find myself in each day. I notice how people walk, how they talk, what attitudes they radiate, how they weave their words and what makes them smile or scowl.
The Census work gets me out of the house (I’m actually doing recruiting and giving tests for them now before the big push in the spring.) It’s keeping me busy and is taking me outside of my usual element — and sometimes even my comfort zone.
Yeah, recruiting in some of the downtown areas in Lexington is a whole new world. But coincidentally, the novel I started nearly a year ago with a few rough notes and a hope for time to continue… is based in a town about the size of Lexington. How great is that?
So, the Census work is helping me to shape and sculpt my novel. It’s still in novel infancy, barely a bookish zygote, but it’s there. It’s real. It’s finally happening. And, discovering that it can turn a day from hell into a day of joy encourages me to give myself permission to write instead of doing all the other myriad of things that I really “should” be doing.
The fact is, I’m a better person when I carve out some time to write. I feel better. I’m a better mother, better daughter, better girlfriend. I’m just better.
So, my blog may be sparse. I’m still around kicking and scratching in the Internet world… just not with the same frequency that I once was.
I’m online updating FaceBook nearly every day, since that’s something I can do on the fly (I LOVE my iPhone!!) but I’ve not taken the time to blog properly.
I should probably say that I’m going to try to remedy that, but, as long as I’m feeling inspired, I’ll write on the novel. That’s the fact.
In the meantime, catch me on FaceBook. I don’t have the time or desire to twitter so much these days. From a marketing standpoint, with Google’s recent decision to spider the tweeting masses, I probably should — but that’s not what makes me happy. Not right now.
Right now, meeting my obligations, helping the kids, spending a few stolen minutes with my sweetie and running my business and holding down a second job is what I do. And when I have a few extra moments that I can sleep or write… I write.
It’s more than a hobby, it’s more than a desire, it’s a compulsion. And, it’s a compulsion that’s finally garnered my attention. 😀