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Whew. I remembered!

I should get bonus points just for writing this post on a Sunday…

So this past week started off well and kind of fell to the wayside in the second half, but I’m trying something new: not feeling guilty.

Goals are great things. They are tools to motivate and to accomplish. But they can also hinder productivity and creativity.

I’ve set myself a 1K a day goal for my WIP. That’s a great goal, one that I strive to meet every “work” day. (I’ve decided to stop pressuring myself on the weekends and allow myself, for the time being, to enjoy time with my family and to catch up on other chores and also to use the weekend to review the words I’ve written over the prior week if I find the time.)

Life with an infant has changed everything. People always say that as fact, and I always believed them. But I don’t think I realized how all-consuming children can be on a daily, 24-hour basis. (Who can unless you have one?) My son is active. Very active. And he’s into everything. I’ve managed to learn how to corral him and accomplish something in the kitchen, or have him tag along to do chores like laundry and vacuuming. But he can’t really be awake while I write at this point. He’s too active and too curious. (Not in themselves bad things.)

That leaves nap time to accomplish my daily word count, as well as sometimes for errands or simply to catch my breath, or to exercise. Every day it’s a conscious choice of what I am going to accomplish that day. Will it be writing, errands, or running? If I choose writing for his first nap, then I can count on getting him to nap in the stroller for a second nap, but if I run the first nap, a second nap isn’t guaranteed. But some mornings, I need to run errands and it overlaps with his first nap…so I usually race home and try to cram in some writing while he sleeps in his car seat.

It’s a constant choice. A constant decision to write. But some days, no matter how hard I try, the writing just doesn’t happen. Does that mean I’ve “failed?” Well, sort of. Yet this week I’ve promised myself that I won’t feel guilty. I’ve reached the midpoint crisis in my WIP, and perhaps that’s having me feel pretty good about myself. So I’ve allowed myself to “slack” this weekend, picking up knitting again, and catching up on wrapping Christmas presents and cleaning the bathrooms.

And you know what? I feel pretty good about myself. So what if I didn’t write 7K this week? I still accomplished some significant scenes, finished my assignments for my online class (early!), and went on a long run Saturday. I was productive. It wasn’t all in writing, but that’s okay. All of my productivity doesn’t have to defined by how many words I wrote over the past week. I’ve put an unrealistic pressure upon myself to do everything and do great amounts of everything, and that’s not fair–not to myself, and not to my family who bears the brunt of my frustration when everything doesn’t get done.

No, by lowering my goals, I’m not going to get published sooner, and I won’t achieve my dreams sooner, but who’s to say it’ll be later either? A happy person produces better product. I want to be proud of what I produce, and not rushed to complete it.

So this week, I finished most of my Christmas shopping (just need a few stocking stuffers and a small item for a friend), I baked brioche, I ran 3 times, I wrote about 4 or 5K, and I retaught myself how to knit. I even translated a few Latin sentences just because.

So even though I didn’t check everything off my list, I’m feeling pretty good about how I spent my time and what I did accomplish.

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