It was Tuesday and I was pumped to add at least a thousand words to my current work in progress. The scenes were outlined, and were still vivid images in my mind. I’d just agreed to do a “Challenge Week” with a few of my fellow writers. “Five thousand words,” I’d boldly promised. No problem, right? Heck, I’d once written two thousand words a day for three months straight. How hard could it be?
And the day begins:
6:45 AM: After pushing the snooze button twice, I stumble out of bed and wake up my littlest guys. Elementary school starts an hour later than high school so my two teenage sons should be out the door and on the bus. They’re responsible kids, I think to myself. How lucky am I that I get to sleep in a little later rather than having to drag them out of bed.
6:48 AM: My second oldest son walks up the stairs with his backpack on his shoulder and a guilty look on his face. “Mom, I missed the bus again,” he says.
No problem, I assure myself. Minor setback. I speed him off to school just before the bell rings and head back home in time to get my youngest sons out the door to their bus.
8:00 AM: I don’t even consider changing out of my sweats and t-shirt. What’s the point? I’m not planning on going anywhere, and it would only take away time from my writing. And, today, I have ton to do. So, I scarf down some oatmeal, take my vitamins, remind myself to drink more water, grab a cup of coffee, and march downstairs to the ice-cold basement.
8:30 AM: I turn on the space heater and silently thank my hubby for buying me one without me even asking. (Isn’t he sweet?) I wrap myself in my ski jacket and sit down in front of my laptop.
The email temptress quickly comes calling, luring me to sign in to see if anyone’s tried to reach me in the past twelve hours. “Shouldn’t I write first?” I ask myself. I’ve made the mistake of falling blindly into the email trap many times. One email leads to one task, which leads to another. Myspace. Facebook. Twitter. Numerous blogs. Yahoo groups up the yahoo. I have friend requests, comments to approve, posts to read and comment on, friends and critique partners to communicate with. It’s all there. I know it.
But I’m too weak to deny the temptress. She’s too powerful. I sign in and up pops 33 new emails. I knew it!
I skim past several, delete a few, and come upon a message from my Wild Rose Press editor. My galleys for Bewitching You are in. Yes!! I email her back to thank her and promise I’ll get right on it.
No problem. I can still get in a little writing this week. Reading through the galleys shouldn’t take too long, right?
Another email catches my eye. My editor from Cerridwen Press says the first round edits for Angel Vindicated are ready and waiting for me. Yay!! I hadn’t expected these for at least a few more weeks, but this is great news. Things are moving along faster than I’d anticipated. I email her back, thank her, and tell her I’ll get right on it.
No problem. Except now I can’t commit to writing anything new this week or maybe even next week. Darn. My hero and heroine are going to hate me for this. They were so close to realizing they love each other, too. Ah well. Maybe I’ll get in a couple hundred words a day, at least.
I swallow my pride and email my writer’s group to tell them I can’t commit to the Challenge Week after all. The unexpected has happened.
11:30 AM: As usual, I’ve given myself over to the email temptress, replying to everyone, commenting, friending, tweeting, Yahooing, posting, whatever. It’s all done and now I feel guilty because the morning is over and I have yet to start reading through my galleys.
I take a quick lunch break, remind myself to drink more water, grab a Diet Coke and head back downstairs.
12:00 PM: I start reading…and, okay, intermittently, I do succumb to the lure of the temptress. I mean, what if she’s right and there’s an important email waiting for me?
12:30 PM: I receive a desperate email from CP (critique partner) about a recent rejection. She needs emotional support like we all do.
3:00 PM: My teenage sons get home from school but are nice enough to help themselves to the refrigerator and, hopefully, do their homework. I yell hello and get back to work.
3:30 PM: Hubby comes down to say hi.
4:00 PM: The little guys get home and I’ve only read through a portion of the galleys. How is that possible? Hmmm… My hubby gets them settled in and I decide to print out the rest of the galleys to take upstairs with me. It’s a good idea to read it in hard copy, too, right?
The printer runs out of ink ten pages short. Ergh! I curse HP for ripping me off and decide to quickly read through those ten pages on my laptop before heading up.
5:00 PM: I grab the thick stack of papers and run upstairs, feeling guilty for not welcoming my guys home right away like I usually do. I give anyone who allows it hugs and ask them how their day was. Grumbling ensues. “Mom, we don’t have anything to eat. When are you going to the grocery store?” “Mom, we need Valentine’s Day cards.” “Mom, I need a shoebox to make my Valentine’s Day box.” “Mom, what are you bringing to my Valentine’s Day party?”
Freaking Valentine’s Day. Really? Where’s the love?
Anyway, after trying to pass the grocery shopping responsibility to my hubby, he gently reminds me that he has a meeting with the Youth Baseball Board. Oh, yeah. I forgot. Again.
6:30 PM: After scrounging a dinner together for the fam, I change into jeans, then load up the van with 3 of my 4 sons and head off to Satan’s Lair…oh, I mean, Wal-Mart Supercenter. The evil place where I spend way, way, WAY too much money. More guilt. Lots of it.
8:00 PM: We put away the van-full of groceries, and I help the little ones get their V-Day cards and snacks together. I promise we’ll finish everything else the next day.
9:00 PM: The teenagers are off to their room and the little ones are in bed, so I sit down to watch The Biggest Loser with the hubby. Go pink or blue team! Thank God for DVR.
11:00 PM: I’m exhausted. I look over at the stack of galleys lying on the kitchen counter, and I laugh. Not gonna happen tonight. What was I thinking?
Then I start worrying about other things. My edits. My writing, or lack thereof. I wonder how I’m going to come up with a post for the Mama Writers blog. I’m scheduled for Friday and I don’t have a clue what to write. Everyone else’s posts have been brilliant and insightful. Oh, crap. I’m going to sound like a complete dork and ruin my writing career with one single post.
I take a calming breath, turn to my hubby, and tell him my dilemma. He suggests I write about a day like this. “Good idea,” I tell him.