I might just spend all day reclining on the couch, two dogs curled up next to me.

Dear Writing Friends,

I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say this week was wrought with unexpected emotional turmoil at work that I am struggling not to feel responsible for. My teaching buddy/friend has been there to bring me back to reality when I get into a guilt spiral and I am super grateful for her. Processing the event has been all consuming for the past few days and has left me feeling really quite down.

Imagine how grateful I am then to have made it to Saturday! To be sitting here on my recliner couch with my two little curled up dogs, a fresh cup of coffee in my bright blue coffee mug? I am unlikely to get up for much at all today.

The 100 days of writing has gone mostly well. I missed a few days, but I’ve been taking it one day at a time and counting my successes. I’ve expanded/revised/edited 7 chapters of my novel in the past week, plus I’m starting to sketch out a new story idea that has been waiting on me to pay it attention for about a year now.

My main goal this school year is to prioritize my writing life. A simple statement that is proving to be extremely hard, but not impossible. I love teaching and I rarely teach one thing the same way, so I am constantly revising curriculum. With three teaching preps this year and the responsibility I feel to read along with my students (even if I’ve taught the book for years), that’s a lot of reading and curriculum design. Now, factor in grading student work and giving timely feedback. I’ve struggled since I started teaching to keep the boundaries between work and creative life clearly drawn, some years with more success than others. Last year when I took on the project of going for my National Board Certification, those boundaries were obliterated, so now I am having to stand back and wonder what the fuck happened and how I can fix it.

What have I come up with?

Saturdays and Sunday mornings are mine. Don’t even try to ask me about lesson plans during those hours. I’ll put my fingers in my ears and start humming I’m not listening. Grading happens at school. If I need to stay late to grade, I will, but I am not lugging home an armload of papers to grade after dinner. No more extra classes or trainings for now. No student teachers until I publish a book.

That covers the boundaries.

More importantly, what will I do with the time I’ve carved out? I will keep adding to the Wunderlist Carrie and I are building when we sit down to write–our list of ways to start writing now. The list is proving very effective for staying focused and recognizing distractions. The distraction comes up–it goes on the list–I move on to writing.

I will dive into LC Editing’s very first paid editing project, which landed in our inbox last week!!!

I will write when I say I’m going to write. If something comes up to prevent me, I’ll put it on the list and write anyway.

This November I am making another go at NaNoWriMo and just for fun—NaPoWriMo too! I’ve got a story idea based around a character I’ve been thinking about for sometime. Each day of November that character is going to write a poem or I’m going to write a poem about that character.

How about you? How are you making time?

 

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