I Love You. Forever. Now Get Lost! by Jess Witkins

Apologies for the delayed post y’all.  I had internet issues this weekend and just flat forgot.  ~Kait

I don’t have a problem writing my goals down.  I have a problem fulfilling them.  Life has a funny way of interrupting us exactly when we say “This is the day (or week) I am going to catch up!”

Does that happen to you?  I’m going to assume that all of you are human, or at least a hybrid of, and that each of you has grown up with a family.  I love my family!  They are wonderful, animated, and sometimes vulgar people!  I am thankful everyday that they are in my life.  They’re the ones who taught me to ride a bike, quote movie lines non-stop, sing entire musical numbers from Yankee Doodle Dandy, and what blood looks like under a microscope!

The problem that occurs is that writing is a very solitary business, and unless you have the attention span of a mosquito at an all night music festival, you can’t really socialize all day and get your work done.  If your life resembles anything like mine, you have a partner whose schedule is magnetically trained to be opposite yours thereby creating small and inconsistent pockets of time whereby you’ll actually have visual sightings of one another.  I know he’s around because I still find his hair in the shower and hear him snoring at night.  My mother is a phoneaholic.  She likes to call me when I’m on lunch break at my full time job that sucks at least 50-60 hours of my life each week.  It’s terrific that she calls, but she also writes me letters, and by the time I get the mail, I’ve heard every story on the phone, and it’s usually prefaced with “You’ll read about this in my note, but…”  My father recently learned how to use e-mail.  I take that back, he learned how to forward things.  My inbox is now cluttered with pictures of dogs licking windows that is somehow tied to Jesus and being a good samaritan.

You see what I put up with?!  The thing is, ROWers, I know I’m not alone.  I read your tweets and blogs and facebook posts that tell me I’m not the only one who gets interrupted by the carnival act in the next room.  But, they’re family.  And family needs to know you’re there for them just like they are there for you.  The same goes for friends, which is really just an extension of family anyway.

So how do you make time to get your writing done and still be there for everyone?  Well, I would suggest cloning cause it’d make life a lot easier, but I’m self conscious and worry everyone would like my clone more than me.  Two things I’m implementing that have helped me maintain some semblance of progress on my writing are:  communication and goal setting.

Sound simple?  It is.  You talk to people, let them know you’re writing at such and such time or on such and such day.  But include people into your goal list.  Part of my ROW80 goals includes helping my honey and I get prepped for vacation.  Some of that means blogging ahead so I’m not having to work while I should be enjoying my rare time alone with him.  But it also means taking an active interest in the mapping of our trip, assembly of camping gear, food preparations, etc.  It’s our trip, so it should be that, ours.

These two tips helped me survive Fast Draft last Round.  My whole family knew I was writing like a dog with a new chew toy and that no one was going to distract me from getting my pages in.  That meant I didn’t immediately call my mom back, or eat all my meals with my partner, and I deleted a lot of “e-mails.”  But I still checked in to make sure everyone was alive and well and nobody was walking around with gum in their hair or something weird like that.

Summer is flying by, friends!  How are you making sure you’re making memories and word count?

~*~

Jess Witkins

11 comments

  1. My biggest problem, sometimes, is when my husband says, “What do you want to watch from the DVR?” Okay, but I was just going to write…. And it seems as if he waits until that time, although not on purpose. I’ve learned to actually work my writing around everything else. I can write just about any time of day, so I don’t necessarily have to have a set schedule…just the promise to myself that I will write for a certain amount of time each day. It took some time to get to that place, though.

    1. Keep at it Lauralynn! I’ve run into that same situation. It’s hard sometimes but I commend you for trying to avenues to get your writing done. That’s great! It’s always a learning process, right?

  2. Great post. I’m at the point where I need to learn to write or edit almost any time during the day. I’m a morning person and prefer to do it then, but more and more of my mornings are getting interrupted by family since it’s summer. So, I need to take advantage when son gets wrapped up in something like a video game rather than reading or blog hopping. Maybe I need to assign some summer lessons. Hmm!

    1. I hear ya on the having to fit it in whenever you can. Here’s hoping you get some nice chunks of time to write!

  3. This is awesome, Jess! And so true. In fact, I’ve said it often in my house: “I love you. Now go away.” It’s not always easy to get that time to write. I have to be aware of having that balance. I am trying to be more present in the moment–whether that’s writing or spending time with my family. When I’m doing one, I need to be focused on it. That means that I can’t constantly be interrupted while writing, but it also means that I can’t allow my writing work to interrupt my special time with family. Thanks for the reminder! And I LOVE the pic.

  4. I love your wacky picture with your parents! I’m glad you feeling good about the way you are making time for everything. It sure is tough some days. My office is attached to our bedroom by a doorway with curtains. When the curtains are closed, that’s cues my hubs to know I can’t be disturbed. When they’re open, it means I’m just doing social media and don’t mind an occasional interruption. We spend about an hour together for each meal and we’ve just decided to reinstate Friday Night Date Night. Beyond that, we drive to my hometown every other week to visit family, mostly my Mom and grands. My kids know to call me infrequently and I’ll call them when I’m not working. I do have to get out of the house more, though. Just for a drive in the country now and then.

    1. I love Date Night! We’ve gotten kind of inconsistent with it. Today we brought it back and went out for coffee and then book shopping! My favorite kind of morning!

      I love that you work behind a curtain. You’re like the wizard of Oz!

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