First, thanks to everybody who commented last week. You overwhelm me with your interest and with your insights. I’ll continue working through the comments between ice storms and power blinks.
I’m also continuing to work through my “Write Better, Faster,” workshop, and this week’s exercise is to keep track of how we’re spending our time. Not only are we writing down what we’re doing, we’re writing down whether it’s essential, a high priority, a desirable activity, or a non-essential task. Finally, we’re keeping track of how we feel about the various to-do’s we’re doing.
This is tedious, and finding the time and motivation to make one more list has been a struggle. Interestingly, the presenter puts great emphasis on the need for adequate sleep. We haven’t yet discussed adequate rest, rejuvenation, or joy. We will doubtless get to that–the presenter is very knowledgeable and thorough–but I think I might need theremedial sessions on that topic.
As I read down my time log, I’m struck by two things. First, so much of what goes into a day is non-negotiable. We must procure groceries, we must tend to hygiene, we must deal with the bank, we must get the scripts filled, we must eat, we must show up for that day job.
Second, so little of what I do in my day occasions joy. I’m grateful for my many freedoms and privileges, I’m grateful to have a meaningful day job (well, most days I’m grateful…), I’m grateful to have food to eat (really grateful), but the reality is, I can’t eat what I want to eat (not without life-threatening consequence). I can’t miss court (not without profession-threatening consequences). I can’t blow off taking out the trash or putting gas in the car.
Most of my days aren’t awful. They hover between boring and OK, with some tedium or some pleasantry thrown in. I am very, very lucky and I know it. But I also see that list of chores–most of what I do is a chore of some sort–and I see the emotional monotony it invokes, about a much bigger chunk of my time than I would have suspected.
Which leaves me with why I write: I love to write. I’m happy when I write. I’m not content to do it, or OK with it, or comfortable with it. I love to write. Doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post, an email, or a scene for a novel (wrote a hot scene today–wheee!), I was born to write. If I can get some writing hours in most days, then all the other duty-do’s are bearable.
Writing is the one item on my list that has words like “Yum!” and “Lovely!” beside it, every time that activity is on my time log. So as I move into 2018, I want to make sure I get that writing time in, no matter what.
What were you born to do? What’s the activity on your schedule that would almost always have a smiley face beside it? Can you do more of that?
To three commenters, I’ll send signed copies of A Rogue of Her Own.