A time for responsibility

It’s one of those words, isn’t it? Responsibility? Even we who are well into adulthood and are already used to taking care of things tend to baulk at life’s requirements every now and then. Not least when we have conflicting responsibilities!

I’m probably going to miss my self-imposed deadline for finishing TDM by the end of the year. The sheer amount of things I have left to do in preparation for Christmas is certainly enough to keep me busy, and then there are always other obligations and vital activities to attend. Yesterday, I helped a relative move house. Today, I finished a number of Christmas gifts. Tomorrow, I need to do more. When will I fit in writing, or editing? When will my mind slow down enough to let me dedicate my thought to the deep processes necessary for critical editing?

I like Christmastime, but man, is it busy.

I’ve considered a daily schedule of sorts, to try and fit in all my projects, but I know how I am. If I’m on a roll, or making something specific, I prefer to finish what I’m doing before moving on, not just stop at a designated time and come back to it later. This is the same for all my work. I’m not very good at schedules, regardless of how flexible I make them.

Writing is usually relegated to the “lesser responsibility” pile, unfortunately. Grocery shopping is more important, cooking meals is more important, sleep is sometimes more important. Finishing Christmas gifts is getting more important, as I need to send a number of them overseas ASAP, then going to the post office to wait in line for half an hour will proceed to become more important than my editing time. And while I might be able to write snippets while standing in line, or in the car (as I’m always the passenger), I most certainly cannot edit in those garnered moments.

If nothing else, I will try and put aside an hour every day, whether it be first thing in the morning, or last thing at night, or any other time I can be reasonably assured of few interruptions, and actually stick to editing a little each day. I know how much progress you can truly make as long as you keep chipping at something daily. I’ve used that technique to great success before! So it’s just a matter of being responsible to myself and my passion, as well as everything else I’ve taken on. My story is definitely that important.

~A

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10 thoughts on “A time for responsibility

  1. I definitely feel like I’m in the same boat, Ashlee! I’ve been trying to proof 2 chapters a day, but I’m starting to miss days due to the holiday craziness. I just keep trying to remind myself that 1 chapter is better than no chapters, but I tend to be an all or nothing girl. It’s true though: small bites add up. When will I believe that? >.<

    1. Anything is better than nothing! It’s a hard thing to stick with when you have higher expectations of yourself. I know that all too well.

      I find it helps to do a quick little breakdown: if I do X amount every day (some small number I’d be embarrassed by 😉 ), it would still be done in so many days/weeks/months. Because that gives me a clear, visual representation of the smallest efforts adding to a whole work completed!

      ~A

  2. Solidarity. My work hours spike in December as holiday shopping increases, which pretty well kills off my energy, making me go to bed sooner after work (I mostly have evening shifts) & get up later, which pretty well kills off most of my still-brain-functioning time. Luckily, though, sometimes the store is really dead, & we get everything in the store caught up & cleaned up…which means there’s downtime…which is the reason that, over the past year, I’ve written over a dozen new songs at work. 🙂

    The downside, though, is that I can’t make any kind of progress on scripts without my drafts on hand. And that brings us back to the same problem scenario again. At least I’ve finally finished grad school, so once the year ends & my work hours drop back down again, I won’t need to spend my home time on that.

    1. I definitely sympathise. Honestly, I would be in heaven if I could get an Ultra Micro PC – they are around the size of the Nintendo DS or a touch larger, and they’re a fully working clamshell/tiny laptop style computer. Sure, miniature keyboards aren’t great for typing out stories or scripts, but it’s better than nothing (and better than a touchscreen keyboard) if I’m out and about and struck with the time and inspiration to work on an existing piece. XD

      ~A

  3. I am in exactly your same spot… I really love Christmas and am so excited that our family will all be home… but I am already missing the regular time for editing and writing (and all I’m doing is getting ready). The draft of my WIP, usually on the dining room table, is boxed up — but like you, I fervently hope for at least a little daily time. As you say, it’s relegated to the “lesser responsiblity” pile.

  4. *sigh*

    Currently my revising has been exiled to the lesser responsibility pile, too. 😦 With my kids’ last day of school today, I know I won’t be getting much done over these next two weeks while they’re on their winter break.

    I’ll miss my characters and my story, but I like your idea of one hour a day. Definitely better than nothing!

    1. I do like the fact that we can sort of “keep working” on stories by thinking about them. Half of all novel writing is the thinking, and musing, and considering, and percolating of ideas. 😀

      ~A

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