Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Careful What You Wish For...

You just may get it. My last entry about shaking things up has me feeling a bit chagrined, as I now long for my lost routine. On Saturday one of my dearest friends got married (congratulations Kara and Mark!) As maid of honor, I spent lots of my time and energy last week preparing for and participating in the festivities, which were gorgeous, filled with love, joy, dancing, and even Irish singing.

My routine continued to be subjugated by a trip to the shore on Sunday, to celebrate the end of the school year for Carl. I intended to work while we were there, but alas, I left all of my book materials at home in Narberth. Rather than cut short our time or drive home, I decided to take a few days off from writing and editing, but was able to do some research. And now, having just got home from the shore, I'm preparing to leave again tomorrow for another short trip, this time to Williamsburg.

All good things, these diversions. The question is, how strict can or should I be with myself? Structure helps me, so on Friday I made a schedule for the summer, assigning days off and working days and setting daily work goals. Then, having left my computer at home, was unable to meet my work goal for the first three work days on the schedule, which has my inner critic up in arms. Critic: how are you ever going to finish the book if you spend your days surfing, lying on the beach, and reading? Me: I'm taking care of myself, I'm resting, I'm researching. Critic: Whatever.

What to do? Forcing myself to write doesn't work well. I know this. And although I mourn the lost writing days, I believe I needed a break, and it was good for me, and will therefore benefit my work. So maybe I need to stay a little flexible with the structure and goals. If I can set aside my morning hours for writing, wherever I am, I should be able to meet my daily goals. And if I take advantage of days when the work is going well(ie exceed my goals), I'll be able to make up for a day here or there when I've decided to play hooky at the beach.

As long as I'm doing things that are nurturing, like surfing, or reading good writing, or exploring a seashell museum, or celebrating a rite of passage with a dear friend, I think taking a break is just fine. Necessary even. But I am looking forward to getting back to my routine for a few days next week, before leaving for yet another trip to Lake Ontario.

On another note, my blog had its first review! Check it out at the website for Philadelphia Stories! Yay press coverage!


Ann Lutterman-Aguilar said...

Congrats on the excellent review! As I am struggling to write my doctoral dissertation, I have very much appreciated your reflections on the process and romance of writing. On Monday I was madly in love with my thesis again, but this morning I really don't want to even look at it. I know that a novel is very different from a dissertation, but perhaps to some extent writing is writing, and your words are inspiring. Thanks!

sulu-design said...

Wow. Kara. Married.
Congratulations on the great review. So glad that you entered the world of blogging!