When the weather goes bad, my day job takes all my time. No early morning writing sessions at the coffee shop. I’m on someone else’s clock from 4a.m. on. And on, and on. 7pm some nights. Barely time to sleep, eat a decent meal, and launder underwear on that schedule.
So, writing and other creative work is what get shunted. Put off. Promised some of my time and attention come the weekend. Of course, the slush-n-salted kitchen floor hears the same bullshit from me. As does the button that needs sewing, the garage door handle that needs tightening, the empty pantry.
Crowded time does a triple-whammy on me. The toll of having lots of time consumed by One Thing and the maintenance of daily life getting backlogged are bad enough. It’s the third that wears me down. The lack of time to think on stories, to imagine scenarios, to mentally bandy ideas. It sucks when snowy roads take away 20 minutes of in-head writing. It sucks to be jump starting semi trucks in the dark, in twenty below weather instead of getting 500 words written in a warm, well-lit coffee shop. It sucks to be cooking dinner and tossing in a load of laundry between stirs and flips. To be brushing my teeth and swabbing out the bathroom sink at the same time. Multi-tasking on maintenance stymies my ability to multi-task on creative stuff during pot washing and teeth brushing.
A me that doesn’t have time to write, and lacks time to think about creative stuff, is a crabby me indeed. My whole outlook goes to shit. Everything becomes a “hafta” Hafta do the laundry. Rather than yay! clean undies. “Hafta” mop the kitchen rather than I enjoy living in a non-filthy home.
So during these past two weeks on BAD weather. Every other day snowfalls, polar vortexes, stuck semi-trucks and non-starting everything else, my writing production has been low. Especially the first week. Lots of calamity, and lots of losing my big girl panties and SULKING.
Luckily, over the weekend, my big girl panties showed up in a load of “hafta” laundry. I doubled-down on my efforts to make writing time. I wrote on my lunch break. I tested my husband’s patience with crockpot meals. I sat in my car, in ten-below weather, and indulged in a few minutes of plot-play before heading out onto the road.
Very little of what I did is sustainable practice. Writing in the breakroom at work is THE WORST. My husband deserves non-mushy veg occasionally. My toes can’t take much more 10-below plotting sessions. But I refused to think of it as sustainable, as a new normal, and most importantly, as something I should be doing all the time. I’m serious about writing, right!?!
All those unfun actions were done to avoid the even more unfun of having my drafts languish. They were what worked for the situation. They got me some words. They got me through this.