07
Feb
10

the work takes care of itself

I’ve been having a rough time writing lately, and as usual the Other Things To Do Pile is accumulating to the point of insufferable, insurmountable hugeness.

You know that Pile I’m talking about. And believe me, when you’re writing for publication, the Pile only gets bigger and scarier. Edits, copyedits, galleys, promo, interviews, articles, contests to run… It never stops. And it eats into your writing time.

Not to mention that for me this year the holiday season seems to have stretched out into February. I’m still all over the place as far as work routine is concerned. Stuff interrupts me, distracts me, takes me away from my desk.

It’s all important stuff. But it’s not writing. And on the weekend I was having a whine about it (as you do) and wondering aloud when the hell I was ever going to get any work done.

And my husband (bless him) came up with one of his random insightful comments — he’s like that, you see. You have to listen hard or you’ll miss them. One minute he’s cheerfully rambling on about Warnie’s bowling average or the prevailing winds, the next he comes out with some deep philosophical precept, and before you can inhale it’s back to the cricket.

What he said was this: ‘Don’t worry about the work. Worry about the work and it’ll seem impossible. Just get back into your routine, and the work will take care of itself.’

Nice one, love. Granted, he’s a military type, and at work he’s the boss. He turns up at work way too early, tells everyone else what to do, spends the rest of the day being told what to do by his boss, gets home far too late, goes to bed and does it all again the next day. Routine is his thing. It’s what makes his workplace tick.

I don’t have a boss to order my day for me. Or rather, my boss is me. But what my man said still applies. Being at your desk is half the battle. Do things in order. Have goals. Don’t get distracted.

So get on with it, me. And here I go. I’ve made a list, prioritised from holy-shit-I-must-do-this-NOW-or-the-sky-will-fall through to get-around-to-it-when-I-can. And I’m working through it.

Blog post: done. Cool. Check that off. Next: open that file and make some words.

Right. I’m on it. Boo yah 🙂

So what’s your writing routine? Usually for me, it’s get up, read emails, go to the gym, supermarket, shower, work, lunch, work, dinner, then attack the Pile. How do you cope when your routine’s disrupted?

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2 Responses to “the work takes care of itself”


  1. 1 Carolyn Haley
    7 February, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I deal with interruptions in my writing routine by taking care of them as soon as possible and returning to the routine. Given that I’m always getting interrupted, and these interruptions can last from hours to weeks, well, I don’t get a heck of a lot of writing done!

    But I ALWAYS go back to it. That’s what matters.

  2. 12 February, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I usually structure my working day around gym or dance classes, so my working week has some days with long writing sessions and others that are more broken up. I find the variety suits me quite well. Interruptions to the routine are inevitable. Meetings, freelance days on magazines – and the inevitable need to sort out the odd ‘real life’ problem too. But I have to do them so I’ve learned to see them positively. With fiction writing we need time for our minds to shuffle the problems we’re dealing with, so time away from the keyboard can be quite useful. So long as you’re not always having to defend your writing time it’s okay.


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