Look at Me, I’m Working. Yeah.

I’m supposed to be being a lot more productive this week than I have been, but I think I have some excellent excuses. Sunday my Web site imploded and needed tending. This leaked into Monday and then into Tuesday. Today everything’s groovy with the Web site, but Athena was home today due to a teacher’s “service day,” and aside from the distraction she provided both of us were kind of sick — a low-grade upset stomach and headache fever. This called for a nap, which seemed to do the both of us a world of good.

Tomorrow I’m going to start getting caught up — I swear — but tomorrow is also Athena’s karate class, and that’s another three hour divot in the day (I’m not even allowed to watch her in class because parents distract the kids from listening to the teachers; I fill the time mostly by reading in the car). Friday? DSL installation, which will require another chunk o’ time, and Athena’s participating in our small town Pumpkin Festival Parade, so I have to be there for the appropriate camera action. Saturday? Family gathering, which will involve driving for an hour, eating about sixteen pounds of food, and then racing back home before the peritonitis hits.

Somewhere in all this I have to write a chapter in the Science Fiction film book, and add several reviews. If I don’t, I may have to beat myself in the head. Which won’t get the writing done, but at least then I’ll have head trauma as an excellent excuse for not getting around to it.

Not that I expect this really to be a problem. As I get older I sometimes feel I’m not writing as quickly as I used to, although if I’m going strictly by sheer volume of output, this is clearly not the case. I think it may be more of the case that recently I feel more easily distracted by other things; sometimes it takes longer to get started writing, which feels like it taking longer to write.

A lot of my current twitchiness — aside from various technical and physical woes — boils down to schedule changes. Which makes me sound like a damn creature of habit, but, well. My biggest problem at the moment is getting used to having Athena in the house in the afternoons again; for the last couple of years Krissy picked her up from her day care at the end of the work day, so I had from 7 to 6 pretty much to myself. Now I have 8 to 2:30. I need to enforce a little more writing discipline in those hours, since Athena (not unreasonably) feels like she deserves a little dad time after school, and I’d like to be able to deliver on that without worrying overly that there’s some work I need to be doing.

That’s my personal project for the rest of 2004: Stay reasonably focused during the work day, so I spend guilt-free time with my kids and don’t feel like distractions are going to be the death of me (or my career). Let’s hope it works, or otherwise I will have to resort to the head trauma trick. And no one wants that.

4 Comments on “Look at Me, I’m Working. Yeah.”

  1. Don’t you have a laptop computer? You could take that with you and do some writing while Athena’s in karate practice.

  2. I have a laptop indeed, but so much of my non-fiction writing needs a live Internet connection (for all that on-the-fly fact-checking). Damn it, where’s my universal wi-fi access? It’s the 21st century!

    I don’t *mind* having to take a break from writing during the day, mind you. Gotta give your wrists a break. Also, I’m using the time to read “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.”