This is day 13 of social distancing for me and my family. 13 days that both kids have been home from school and we’ve all been in the house together.
My daughter (seventh grade) is logging in to school and is expected to do so at regular times to join her “classes,” but my son’s schedule is much less structured. His teacher (he’s in third grade) sends assignments, but with no set schedule. And what we realized pretty quickly is that we all do better with a schedule.
Making Time to Write
Last Monday we sat down as a family and made a weekday schedule we could agree on. The number one thing I needed was time to work. So, from 8-9:30 every morning is quiet time for momma, time when my office door stays shut. And so far the kids have been great about respecting that.
It’s all I need, really, that hour and a half. Last week I finally finished up a draft of my second novel. I knew I was close, but it wasn’t until I finally got some quiet time that I realized how close. I printed out the 414 pages and stuck them in my desk drawer to rest for a while, and am on to working on novel number three (titles are hard, so I’m just using numbers for the time being).
Of course, when I say I’m “working” on novel three, what I really mean is that I’m typing up the pages I wrote long hand during NaNoWriMo last November.
I feel super lucky on this front. I’m not actually having to do much creative thinking. Mostly I’m just typing and organizing the material into the structure I’ve devised for the project, using Scrivener to get it all laid out.
Because in truth, I’m finding this a really difficult time to be creative. It’s not just that the kids are home and I’m used to having the day to myself to work. It’s also just the general anxiety that’s everywhere. Anxiety is a creativity killer.
What’s more, I get anxious when I’m not writing. If I hadn’t done all this writing back in November, I don’t know what I would be working on, or if I’d be writing at all. I know I’d be anxious AF. As is, I may actually have a draft of novel three done by the time all this coronavirus business blows over.
My plan is to type up the draft, organizing as best I can, then print the whole thing out. I will take novel two out of the drawer at that point, and put novel three in. From then on I’ll be working on novel two until I send it off for my agent to read, at which point I’ll pull out novel three so I can keep working (I’ve found this to be the only way to alleviate the anxiety of waiting for notes).
All in all, I guess I can’t complain.
How are you handling this unique time in history? Are you finding any time to write? If not, I would advise cutting yourself as much slack as possible. We’re all dealing as best we can. If you’re finding it difficult to make time to write, just hang in there. This will pass.
Stay safe out there.