Monday, September 21, 2009

On Schedules and Projects

Last week, Laura at 11D had a minor identity breakdown. Vast stretches of time lay before her with no clear path of what she was supposed to fill them with. I can totally relate.

So, I have a business and I do want that to possibly be successful. Just this morning, I came up with a potential project that might work well for it. For a while there, I was spending time on something to do with the business every day. Now, though, it's gone to the back burner. With this new idea, it might move back up again.

In addition to the business, however, I'm also working on a book project, something I started years ago, but which I'm hauling back out again. I've pretty much thrown out what I started with except the core of an idea and have been working away at it every day for the last two weeks. I've spent at least an hour every day on it and sometimes two. I was feeling bad about this lack of productivity. Shouldn't I work for 4 hours, 6 hours? So I Googled for information about the writing habits of famous authors. It's all over the map. Some authors go for a word count, some work in a certain amount of time (anywhere from just minutes to all day, with the average probably 2-3 hours). It kind of gave me the idea to go with my gut, and my gut says I'm doing okay, though I should probably aim for at least three hours. And yes, you can laugh at me for trying to compare my work habits to people like Stephen King and Dan Brown. Dan Brown writes all the time, even on holidays. If my book gets made into a movie, maybe I'll do that too, but for now, no way.

And then there's the walking piece. I'm up to walking 3 miles a day, which takes about 1.5 hours. I'm walking mid-afternoon, which is a good time, both for my schedule, and for the weather, as it's usually quite warm and pleasant by then. I have to be back by 4 since that's when child number one gets home.

In theory I could put in another hour of work of some kind after that, but that would put me, believe it or not, over an 8-hour day.

If the business picks up, what will likely go is housework, which has got to be the most boring thing ever invented, but at the same time seems more pressing than anything else and its neglect gets noticed more than anything else.

So I've settled into a routine that gives my days a shape and a purpose that I'm happy with for now. The nice thing is that it can shift as necessary, though I must admit, that as it does, I can feel the identity shifting with it. Funny how that works.