Monday, April 18, 2011

Cowgirl Up!

I need a boot camp to reteach me how to focus. All the manuscripts I have finished were written in great part due to having, what I would call, writerly tunnel vision.

I was SO wrapped up in story and writing that I simply zoned out of "life" whenever my fingers came to rest on the keyboard. There was peace in it. I had a Muse and my focus was so tight, I didn't get distracted by much.

Like a rodeo rider of writing, my focus was a bucking bronco and I hung on for dear life, clearing the 8 seconds without so much as blinking an eye. I loved it. The thrill of every moment I tapped out more words, creating a reality within my fantasy worlds and breathing life into characters that had, thus far, only existed in my imagination.

But then, home life altered when my husband had to change jobs. And then came his on-the-job injuries and rehabilitation from knee surgery and other disruptions in the background of our lives.

No longer able to rely on a Monday through Friday schedule- one that I had once relied on so heavy to get so many words pumped out- Now my weeks are this buckshot of scattered hours and odd days off. My normalcy has been shot all to bits and I'm left picking pellets out of myself, peering through the holes that remain in my routine and wondering how to piece them together.

I've been trying to turn our current schedule into something I'm able to "use." It doesn't seem to be working for me though. I can't concentrate, I find myself thinking and dwelling on all the time I waste not being productive in any way. Yes, I just said it- I'm wasting time by wasting time. LOL

I've cast aside my yoga and walking as well as my writing. And I hate it.

I need to come back to my center- to find the focus that has seemingly vanished from my grasp. Yoga was one thing I've found that was helping me center myself emotionally and the walking made me feel better physically. Now I need to get my mental focus in check, for my writings sake, and bring all those things into balance together.

I'm going to have to play around with our weekly schedule and see if there isn't some way to alter my waking/sleeping hours to make this work not just for me but for the kids and my husband's schedules, too. It needs tweaking, especially on hubby's odd days off, which feel like a weekend in the middle of the week and instead of enjoying it, we're running to the grocery and taking care of the things that we would normally put off until the "weekend."

Truth is, that leaves the weekend not feeling like much of one at all and for me it's a downright nuisance. My brain works on a Monday-Friday schedule- I guess because I have little ones in school, but with my husband's work schedule, wherein Monday-Friday is this foreign idea that doesn't mesh, I'm stuck trying to figure out where I can fit MY schedule in. Especially now that I am going to be published. I HAVE to get my edits done in a timely manner and be able to make a schedule that works for me.

Nighttime writing and editing and working might be my only course of action. I've contemplated it before, but always end up going to bed when my husband does on the nights he has work the next day, but also because I have the kids to get up for school during the week, as well. I go to bed with a serious guilt complex that tears me between responsibilities to home and responsibilities to my writing career. Especially when the family doesn't see that I HAVE responsibilities now, not just to them, but to my publisher and that this isn't just "Mommy's" hobby or the little wife's "playtime."

So there it is---Maybe I'm a bit too southern, but I'm afraid it's time to cowgirl up, pull up my big girl panties, dust off my denim, slap my hat back on my head and stuff my feet into my ass-kicking boots.

If I don't have a a special camp for it, I'll just have to take the bull by the horns (or bronco by his mane) and lasso my focus back into submission, bucking and snorting the entire way. I'll break the beast just enough to get back up there astride and tame it to my needs.