See, I am not prolific. Sometimes I feel I am, but mostly I know I’m not. I just have really good days sometimes. But this is something I need to work on. I guess you can call it a Post New Year’s/Holiday Resolution. You know, like when the fun stuff is over and you spend a few weeks trying to get back into the swing of things and you’re body and mind are like, “I don’t think so. I still want to have fun!”
I remember March 2000, the house was a mess. I’d worked my tail off to get a book I’d written into the Golden Heart the Fall before and it didn’t final. All I had was a mess of 6s and 7s, which at least told me I was on the right track. My dh, as supportive as he’s always been, was on his way to work and said, “Honey, I don’t care if dinner isn’t on the table when I get home. Or if the house is picked up. But I’d really like some clean underwear, at least.”
All in all, that really wasn’t a huge thing to ask of a housewife. I know that now, and actually, i did know that then. But, me being me, I didn’t get up and clean the house or get the laundry going. Instead, I sat and examined WHY I found it so difficult to upkeep a house. I’d gone through years where we had one big cleaning spree and everything was perfect for a day or two. Then it would go downhill for a day or two. Then I’d gather together the energy for another cleaning spree. Then I’d clean and the house would be perfect.
It was a vicious cycle. I wanted it to end. I see the same in my writing. I stay up all night for weeks on end and all my thought and energy goes into the book and I meet whatever deadline was set. (As long as it wasn’t set by me. I ignore myself.) Then weeks or months go by where I’m blank, empty and can’t concentrate. Or it’s life’s way of making me balance family and writing time. Suddenly there’s a flurry of appointments or changes or family things to concentrate on and I can’t concentrate on the next big project.
But I need to concentrate on my ability to create and make it work faster. So I started to do what I did when the house wasn’t clean. Beyond analyzing why, I began to go to different writer’s sites, looking for articles on increasing productivity. I ran across one just the other day, but after 3 sites, I didn’t find it and I realized. Here I am again.
In 2000, I researched housecleaning, trying to find a good way to establish an upkeep habit. I joined listserv after listserv, read all kinds of articles and advice things. I spent a good 8 hours on research.
When Craig came home, nothing was done. I smiled at him, all proud of myself for trying to fix the root of the problem, and told him about my research on housecleaning. He said, “Great. More email.”
Okay, now I can laugh at myself for my naivete. How was my poor husband to know what an absolute brain flash I’d had? Seriously. The best idea ever.
I’ll tell you how. Because I am *me*. I mean, come on. You’d think the man would learn to listen to me sometime.
Through my hours of research and joining lists, including lists with cleaning buddies who would get in contact and each go clean their house at the same time so no one would ever feel alone, I found the ultimate resource. It started as a Yahoo group, but now has a website. www.flylady.net
Lots of people commented how they couldn’t stand to have someone else tell them what to do. All I could think was that it sure beat having my mother in law do it. I love the lady, seriously. She’s the best example of a nurturing wife and mother I’ve ever met, but from her it was criticism. From something I chose to join, it was advice. Big difference.
Within two weeks of following her routines, the house was the best it had ever been and I actually had energy to do other stuff. It still, even on it’s worst days, hasn’t gone back to what it was.
Now, in 2002, I joined Survivor Writers. I was able to finish a book in 5 months by doing 15-21 pages a week. That was the closest to a writing schedule I’ve ever managed. l try to go back to it, but the beauty of SW was that it was all new stuff and that doesn’t help when you’re trying to revise. Or revise to finish, because now that I’ve done so much work on Betrayed, I can’t finish Cinderella’s Shoe until I get back into the book.
So, my plan tonight was to get back into CS. Revise up to where I took a wrong turn so I could fix it and finish the last 8,000 words of the book. Of course, that’s been the plan for all of January. Then I get busy doing all the smaller things I can find, in this case the need to increase my productivity. So what did I do? I began to research being prolific. Of course. Duh.
But then I remember how my husband came home and the house was a mess. And I equate that with going to bed without having anymore of CS done.
Sound like a deal?
Now, back to CS.