Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Time spent or time wasted?

The question was, "How many hours a day do you spend writing?"

I wish I could have answered, "Oh, eight or ten..."

But my mama taught me not to lie. She didn't wash my mouth out with soap, but she did give me a pretty good snap on the ear with her thumb and forefinger.

So I said, "Two, on a good day."

The problem is, I am finding it increasingly harder to concentrate these days. I hate to attribute it to age, so let's just say there are a lot of distractions.

I got to thinking about what I actually do do all day.

If I wake early, I read until it's time for the newspaper to be delivered, around 6 a.m. Then I fix my coffee and read the paper, ending with the crossword. I have to make sure my brain is in full function mode.

These past few weeks I've been going outside while it's cool (comparatively) and whacking off some shrubs and pulling up ivy that seem determined to turn our lawn into a habitat for wild animals. I've seen deer and would not be surprised to see a bear some fine day.

By the time I come back inside, Jim is up and most days he wants to "go get a biscuit" which takes a half hour or so, followed by a leisurely trip through the grocery store. Jim likes to go up and down every aisle in case he see something we need.  We go in for one item and come out with several bags, unless I remember to carry in my own reusable shopping bags. This entails catching the clerk before she starts loading up. "Miss! Miss! I have my own bags..." Waving them around in case she doesn't understand what I mean. Then it's one bag or two at the most. If the clerk packs our stuff, it could be a dozen, due to a store rule of packing no more than two items per bag. I think it must be a rule as they all follow it.

Then it might be the pharmacy, the post office, the library, or it might be the day we pay our utility bills. We get home close to noon and I do a few household chores before settling down in front of my keyboard.

Even then, I might not begin writing. There is email to check, better  look at Facebook and see what's happening...

Then I settle down and write until my mind rebels. If I've had a good day and accomplished my word count goal, I might reward myself with a few games of Spider Solitaire or Eggs, with the sound turned off because every time I make a hit in the Eggs game it sounds like glass shattering.

Then at five, time for the evening news and a glass of wine. Jim fixes dinner which we eat while watching Jeopardy! Then I clean the kitchen (believe me, this is more work than cooking) and grab my book. Evening is my time to read and I do until bedtime unless there is a program I want to watch, which is getting less and less likely.

And that is my day. It could be more productive, but hey! Life is short. Keep on doing what you enjoy doing. And if it's writing eight or ten hours a day, go for it. And if it's "wasting time" with your fella or reading the latest best seller, go for that, too.

Last I checked, the only person grading you is you.


  1. Oh, too true about grading - we are often our own worst critics! How wonderful that you are at ease with your "schedule." You deserve this time and easy living!

    1. I just have to be careful I don't get too lazy/

  2. I wish I was like Stephen King who said he is not satisfied unless he writes at least 2000 words a day! I'm like you, Have to get the daily chores done first, answer emails, snoop around the internet for awhile, then get to writing a bit in my new book I've started. I also have to finish reading another member of our critique group's submission, but it is 75 pages! I'll finish today. I hope. .

    1. I miss our critique group. Loved seeing what everyone else was doing.

  3. I'm not writing currently and I don't have any excuse. The days just fly! I'll get back on a writing routine pretty soon though.

    1. It's hard to stick to a schedule in the summer when there is so much outside work to be done.