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