I have time compartments that dictate what I can do when. “Work,” which means school stuff, is roughly 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Weekday evenings are for cooking dinner, a meeting here and there, and a lot of I’m not really sure what.
Brainless play is Friday night. Socializing, the occasional (but strongly needed – more about that soon) intellectual talk, and sometimes dinners out, happen on Saturday night.
Pancake breakfast (from time to time), soccer playing and ref-ing, household shopping, cleaning (sort of) and fixing broken things (a bit) is for Saturday. Church, and a lot more of I’m not sure what, is on Sunday.
That’s my routine. Sound familiar?
Here’s what I wonder — if keep this schedule, when will I finish writing my book?
So I’ve started disassembling that routine. Here’s an example: Recently, my family made plans on a Saturday night. I could have made plans with a friend, but instead, I stayed home — to write. The next day, they went out again, and I stayed home — to write.
The result of staying home on those days, is that, from the inside of some where, small chunks of time for writing have started falling into my lap (top). The more I risk facing my blank or sloppily organized page(s), the more time I find. The more I stop myself from saying, “yes” to things I’m used to, and instead answering that small tug that whispers, “Here’s an hour, take it,” the result is a new routine.
Last week, I read a book (well, actually a chapter) about another writer’s routine, the kind I long for, because it’s orderly. She wakes each day to meditate, workout, say mantras, read some soulful pages, eat oatmeal and grapefruit, plan and pencil in this and that, until she’s ready to write — five pages…
For me, for today, it’s “Time appeared, grab it, sit, write,” or “Everyone’s going out Friday, don’t make plans,” And I don’t, so that I do – write.
So here’s a novel, so to speak, question, is there a schedule you need to shake down so you can do what you want to but don’t cause you haven’t asked your self a routine question? Maybe it’s time.