This is what I’ve been doing all week. I’m up at Four In The Morning. I’m actually up before four, but by four I’m usually writing and well into a cup of coffee. The second cup comes in at about six, but four is when I’ve been pretty much hitting my stride.
I’ve had to make some time management decisions lately and let me tell you, it sucks. I like early mornings/late nights, or maybe it’s late nights/early mornings. Hell, I’m so tired I don’t know anymore. But, in order to get anything done and done the way I need it done, and that’s the key right there, ya know… the way I NEED it done, I had to make a few changes. One was that I go to bed a little earlier and get up no later than three in the morning.
When I writing more, I was doing so in the middle of the night. The house is asleep. No one can bother me and I can’t make a whole hell of a lot of noise cleaning or cooking or do the laundry. I could put in my earbuds, turn on the music, and write for several hours. There were a few people on Twitter and we would converse every so often, but set a timer, some tunes, and I was good to go until around five or six…
Then public school dreams for my son crept into his brain and shot all that to shit. With that, I was getting up at five-thirty, to bed at ten, homework until nine, and empty nest syndrome that left me with so many hours on my hands, I didn’t know what to do. I tried for weeks, months to write during the day, I mean, I had all these empty hours, right? It should be easy to get things done, but… Nope. I would stare at the screen, walk around, stare at the screen some more, walk around… I wasn’t getting words in and I wasn’t walking off the pounds. It was miserable.
I got the idea to try this getting up at two and three from another author. She does it when she’s on deadline and I can tell you I’m on two so… But then, deadlines are when I do my best work. These books should’ve been done long ago, but that’s a story for another day.
Suffice it to say, I’ve gotten more writing done in the last four days than I have in the last month. I know where the stories are going and know that they’ll be done in time for publication. Sometimes I have to be pushed to my limits in order to find a solution. Sometimes I have to have no other options before I’ll find something that might actually work. Either way, while I’m still exhausted, some changes have been made the household schedule that’s allowing me the chance to try out this insane way of working. I get up, write for a while, get my son up, the spouse gets up, I get food, throw in a load of laundry, get more coffee, make the bed, say bye to them, work a little more, and around eight am I crash for a couple of hours. I do housework, walk, shower, work, get dinner started, get my son from school, nap again cause I’m beat, homework, family, a few oh shit moments when I realize I forgot to do something, and then, bed to do it all over again. I don’t know how sustainable it is, but we’re about to find out… I’ll keep you posted…
On behalf of those who’ve ever suffered from it at all…
On behalf of those who’ve been left behind, grieving…
…with a spoon. “It’s dull, you twit. It’ll hurt more…” Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
On January 29th… In just a 13 days, it’ll have been 9 years since my grandfather passed away from a 9 year battle with cancer. He was the very best man I knew.
And if it continues to take the very best of us… What does that say for those of us it leaves alone?
But that’s just it. It doesn’t leave us alone. We’re all touched by it. We’re all pulled down into the fight, in one way or another, because we’ve all known someone, somewhere who’s lost their life to it. We see it more. It’s in our face more. And just this week, with David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Grizzly Adams… Millions around the world were touched and affected by it. Felt the loss of those who’d been on our movie screens, in our ears, on our television sets for more years than we could count. It wasn’t just a woman who watched a man, in his bedroom, take his last breath, surrounded by other women who, too, loved him best and most.
I miss him daily, sometimes hourly. He was a good man. Strong and capable. He didn’t deserve that way to go. He didn’t deserve the pain and suffering. And it’s personal. Cancer made it personal for many years, but most especially that morning, just after 7am, on his 60th wedding anniversary. Cancer made it personal by taking him.
Cancer makes it personal…It takes away our brightest, our most beautiful, our most amazing… And to that, I say… Again…
It’s been a good week. Sorta. I wake up every morning so, that’s something to be thankful for, yes? Yes.
I’ve blogged daily, which is something I’d set out to do. I’m keeping a planner. Two actually. One is yearly. And the other is quarterly. I loved the idea of quarterly planners, breaking my year up into smaller visual pieces and had to give it a try.
I joined in #fitreaders to do 5K or 10K each month, but really I do more than that and it’s a good thing. I do 5K or 10K several times a week. Or, I’m starting to do so. I’m not looking for weight loss (though my doctor would love it if I did.). I’m looking for better fitness on the inside.
I started a thing (that’s also still in infancy and full of need to be tweaked here and there) called #10KWeekendsForWriters. I want to write more and always do better when I have an end goal or a deadline looming. So, I thought this would be a good thing, going back to when I first started writing. The first weekend of it ends tonight at 10pm and while I won’t make it to the 10K, I’ll have made a HUGE dent in the current book I’m writing and needing to finish like yesterday.
I accomplished some things. But still, not enough of what is necessary each week. I’m working on trying NOT to stress too much. To read more. To think and plan and figure out when I’m most productive as a writer. Ever since my son started back to public school in October of last year, I’ve been floundering on the writing front. I’m a night writer. (No. Jokes.) I always have been really. Yes, I can write during the day sometimes, but it’s never consistent. I write at night after everyone goes to bed or goes to their rooms, when the dishes are done and the house is quiet. There are minimal distractions and minimal noise I can make. It’s always been perfect.
I kind of got into the habit of creativity at night when I was in college. The guy I had the biggest crush on, who had a crush on me but would never admit it, would show up at my house at 11pm. We’d talk while he was waiting for a practice room at the university to come available. He was a French horn player and he’d practice from midnight to three or four in the morning. He said it was when he felt most alive, most in tune with the music. I understood that perfectly. I sometimes did the same thing.
Night has always been my friend and while we home schooled, I could work at whatever hours I wanted. But with public school hours, I can’t. I’m up at 5:30am and in bed by 11. The hours I’m used to writing, I’m now using for sleep and my mind, my creative mind, hasn’t figured out how to make the transition. I sit sometimes and simply stare at the screen because the words are just not there. But at 2am I’ll wake up and the words are ready to pour through and I’m just so dead tired, I’ve created at night for so many years. I’m not sure how to switch. I’m even sure I can.
This has been a struggle. We’ll see what I come up with and how I’m able to adjust. I don’t have a choice but to adjust, I just have to figure out how and in what ways.
And, that’s about where I am right now. I have more writing to do, some errands to do, a book to finish reading, and more coffee to brew… Y’all have a great Sunday.
Why 35? How did I come up with 35? Not using common core, that’s for sure. I simply added 20+15…
My list is comprised of personal and business related things. Some of which I’ll go into more detail about later, and some I’ll just let go of, or try…
I didn’t do fuck all in 2015
I learned it takes a village in the writing/publishing business to get the word out, the boost your name, etc…
I don’t have a village or a small tribe of good friends/authors/bloggers who I can band together with.
I’m not organized enough and I like my personal time with family way too much
I hate always having to be ON
I compared myself to others. A LOT. And while we’re not ‘supposed’ to do it, when everyone posts their awesomeness, it’s kinda hard not to do compare. It’s okay. We ALL do it.
Success is a state of mind and mine has been in the crapper.
I’m lost. And let’s face it, I’ve been lost in this writing/publishing business since 2010. That’s a long ass time to wander in the dark. Without a map.
I suck at time management, especially when there are big changes to my schedule.
I suck writing during the day.
I didn’t read enough
I didn’t bake enough
I didn’t craft enough
I didn’t go to any conferences and I wasn’t once sad about it.
Depression is a fucking liar, but a fucking good one
6 deaths in the family in 24 months is not good for anyone
I need a vacation
My kids growing up make me both incredibly proud and incredibly sad
Emotions are a bitch.
My swearing has picked up the pace.
Too many hurtful, negative voices in my head telling me I can’t and I shouldn’t and I need to but I won’t
I made a bestseller list with a group of amazing authors who have dedication that I can’t begin to fathom
I wrote some fun stories and made some money
I wrote some fun stories and didn’t make enough money
I don’t do it right. Any Of It!
I did not lose weight
I exercised more
I drank a lot of water
I didn’t see or do a lot of things
I was proud to be a Kyle Busch fan
I was proud to be a Florida State Seminole fan
Common Core sucks ass
I’m glad 2015 is over
Brilliance is out there. I just don’t know how to find it.
So, there it is. My list. It’s sad and completely uninspired. It’s depressing and horrible to look at. This lost thing is going to stop and go away. It has to. There is no other choice. I had a voice once and it’s fucking GONE. It’s time to find a new voice. I don’t know how. I don’t know how you’re going to learn about it. But, it’s time for me to find it.
I have some goals set for 2016, but that’s a post for another day.
Be blessed and beautiful and thank you for being there for me.
I love holiday movies. They’re sappy and unrealistic in many, many ways. But they make me feel good. They make me smile. They ultimately are about hope and family and love and returning to the simple pleasures of life. They always pose the question of What’s important to you?
I think, given the state of the world as it right now, wars on religion, on sexuality, on basic freedoms and rights… Natural disasters and illnesses… It’s vital that we find comfort and smiles and hope wherever and whenever possible. That we find ourselves.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to list the movies on Hallmark Channel or on DVD that I watch, or that my family watches during the holiday season.
So far, I’ve watched the following. Yes, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving, but these help me me find the spirit, find the joy, find the smile that I miss being away from friends and extended family during the Season…
And, they simply put me in a happy, lighter mood. So, curl up and grab the remote!
Fir Crazy – Elise has corporate marketing dreams and while out of work at the holidays, reluctantly agrees to manage the family’s Christmas tree lot in NYC for the season. Along the way, she learns the value of friendship, kindness, and to be ready for anything.
The Thanksgiving House – Is this house the site of the first Thanksgiving? The local history teacher and historian thinks do, but when it’s willed to the previous owner’s niece, a hot shot lawyer, he may not have a chance to find out. Memories and the kindness of a mother who befriends her, the hot shot lawyer may find herself with a change of heart.
The Nine Lives of Christmas – Confirmed bachelor fireman meets matchmaking cat who leads him to vet student Marilee, who in turn teaches him that it’s okay to fall in love.
Angels Sing – Touching and full of hope when a man who hates Christmas learns valuable lessons about unconditional love and the ability to forgive oneself.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Another annual favorite. He’s a wanderer who meets a retired cop in the airport at Christmas. She’s uber organized and a single mom who’s struggling to meet expectations. It’s all about simplicity and cutting out the nonsense.
Ice Sculpture Christmas – When the slate is blank, or the block of ice, in this case, two people from two different worlds find magic in dreams coming true.
I’ll give weekly updates until Christmas and I urge you to find the kindness and hope in the season. And if you can’t find it, be daring and be bold and be the kindness and hope for others.