July began with plans to write every single day. How hard can that be when I’m not working?
I did write on July 1. Off to a good start.
That was after June 29 when my landlord showed up unexpectedly to say he’d had a complaint about my yard and I needed to get it mowed. Ok. How hard can that be? He even recommended his cousin who has a mowing service and a fancy business downtown. I called them on Monday. They were going to come look at the yard and then call me with a quote. They never called. When I called again on Tuesday, they said they hadn’t been able to get out to look at the yard, but they’d do that and call me back Tuesday afternoon. No phone call. I called on Wednesday and the woman I’d talked to Monday and Tuesday was not there, and I talked to someone who didn’t really want to give me a lot of information. You know – I am familiar with the word “No”. I’d rather hear “NO” than hear empty promises, but once again one of those was given to me. On Thursday when I called, I was told they’d had one of their workers who was in the area come down and look at the yard, and frankly they were just so busy they would not be able to work me in. I checked the newspaper. No one was advertising to mow yards. I finally remembered a local website and looked there and found a couple people who did yard work. I called both. One took down my address and phone number and said they’d be by later that day. One had an answering machine and I left him a message. Meanwhile I had forms that had to be filled out and after waiting until 3:00 pm, I drove to my doctor’s office to hand deliver those. When I got back home, there was actually a truck with a trailer on the back that contained a riding lawnmower. The man and his son who run the business got out and walked around the yard and quoted a price. They even did part of the work that afternoon. They left after a couple hours with a promise to be back the next morning. The man I had called to clean the gutters never showed up. I’d been calling him since Monday as well. He finally showed up the next day just after the mowing men returned. They all worked that morning making my yard and house look much, much better.
One day during the week, I came in and was excited because while walking the dog, I had composed a lovely short story in my head. I could hardly wait to sit down and type it up. I noticed I had a message from my son. He’s half-way around the world. His time is 12 hours ahead of my time. My time was 8:00 am. He wanted to Skype with me. I thought we’d do that and then I’d write the story. Guess what. We skyped for almost four hours and by the time we were through talking, the story idea was completely out of my head.
Monday also brought a trip to the dentist who was running about an hour behind, I found out after I got there. That whole morning was shot.
I just cannot figure out how to be selfish and demand this writing time I need. I don’t really know when I need it because a lot of my writing goes on in my head as I think through things and then when it’s time to write it down . . . well, it varies what time of day that occurs. Friends have said to set a schedule and write, but if I’m not ready to write, if the idea hasn’t congealed at that time, all the schedules in the world still won’t afford an excellent written piece.
I see why writers go away and retreat from the world to write. I cannot do that. To start with, I can’t afford to go away for very long at the time. Secondly, I have a 14 year old dog who grieves if she doesn’t see me frequently. I have a 14 year old cat who has heart failure and will take her medicine nicely from me, but will scratch anyone else who tries to give it to her.
I just don’t know what I’m going to do. At my age time is valuable and I resent anyone encroaching on it. I have things I want to get written and published.
I think I will do this. I will set a certain amount of time to write daily. I’ll keep a journal of that time so that I know I spent that much time each day. I cannot write on a schedule. My mind doesn’t work that way. I can probably write a certain amount of time each day, or can devote a certain amount of time to finding markets, making a website, entering contests, and approaching editors. How long should I devote daily? I am thinking 2 to 3 hours of actual sit down work because a lot of my organizing and writing ideas come when I am doing other things, like walking the dog.
I think I have figured it out. I’ll make a folder on this desktop. I’ll write down what I do towards my writing daily – I don’t mean the thinking part, but the actual work on the computer doing it part or read about it part . . . My goal for now will be one to three hours daily. If someone wants something at a time I am sitting down to write, they’ll have to get it later. I need to honor my talent and honor my craft. I owe this to myself. I’ve waited all my life to devote my time to this. It’s not fair to me not to make this work.
CBC 7 4 15 at 1:07 am