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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Daily Life and Fighting For Writing Time


"Mom, can I watch a movie on your computer?"

"Can I talk to you? I'm tired of looking at the back of your head!"

"Mom, I need the computer for homework..."


It used to be so easy. I'd fire up the computer (and let it 'warm up' for about five minutes while it loaded...I'd finish watching the news or drink another cup of coffee, or even do the dishes! Remember those days?) and bring up my MS Works document. Or WordPad. And turn on some music and let the words flow.

And then we got internet. Suddenly, I check my email and read everything my friends sent me. I'd write for a while, and check it again, wincing if an IM popped up (I finally learned how to 'be invisible' on the AOL IM!)

Total 'goof-off' time: 30 minutes, tops.

And...the phone wouldn't ring, because the internet was tied to my landline. My friends knew I was home because of the continuous busy signal.

Fast-forward six years.

I now own my own laptop; I get on, I check both of my emails. I delete quite a bit, thanks to certain SPAM, or a few friends who still insist on sending certain forwards I recognize. Others I briefly skim before hitting the delete button, or, if it particularly funny, I'll pass it on to a few choice friends on my list.  If there's been an interesting thread on any chat loop digest, I'll pop over and chime in. 

I've been neglecting my blog, but am attempting to blog regularly again. It usually takes me half an hour or so to post.   I used to also read every blog on my list, but that's changed in recent years, as my friends haven't been keeping up with theirs, either.  And I'm getting fed up with Blogger's word verifications; more often than not, I'll comment on the FB post rather than the blogger post.  And if I'm promo-ing someone, then I make the round of chat loops and social media.

Total 'goof-off' time: 2-3 hours. But wait...this is part of my job, so it doesn't count! It's the business side of my job, to connect with readers, get advice, and stay in touch with friends!

I get up to stretch, take a break. The floors could really use a vacuum cleaner; the pets need water. Sometimes I'll start the laundry. Put away the coffee maker, decide what to fix for dinner. Oh, it's noon? Time to fix myself some lunch.

I used to read while eating.  But now, since the spouse is retired, we run errands if he needs to, or if he's wrapped up in a TV show, then I can usually be found skimming FB again.

Then I log into Twitter and bring up my WIP.  Time to wordwar; we start at fifteen minutes past the hour and write/edit for forty-five minutes.  A 'good' day for me is when I can do this for three or four hours.  Sometimes I'm lucky if I can squeeze in one round.

My kids arrive home from school between 3 and 3:30.  The spouse has been picking up the youngling, and daughter now has her license.  And since we now have a granddaughter to look after from noon-three, I may not get anything accomplished until after Labor Day (daughter is expected to finish school by then).  But for now, it's supervise homework, then log him onto his educational website, to help with his reading.  And supervise the neighbor's kid, if he shows up, on the same website on the PC.  Then it's on to sports practice/dinner preparations

Sometimes after dinner I'll get lucky again and no one will be on the computer. I check the email and FB again.

So you be the judge...am I goofing off too much, or is anywhere from 600-1500 words a good average? If the words are flowing, I can knock out a book in about 4-5 weeks. If they aren't coming, sometimes it will be years.  If I'm doing self-edits, it takes me less time.

And darn it...where are the housecleaning Brownies? I'm working!

Sigh...off to clean the floors...I can't tell what color the carpet is anymore, and even the dog is complaining! (Just kidding!)


2 comments:

Sandy said...

Molly, I sympathize with you, but you're still writing, and that is what counts. I'm only blogging.

Tina Donahue said...

I don't have children to worry about, but I do have an EDJ. I have to carve out the time I need no matter what.

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