Thirteenth in the 1K a Day Motivational Series, in which I talk about something that happened in the previous week that could have or did prevent me from writing a minimum of 1,000 words on a given day, or possibly talk about something that provided support to get me through the day.
“I’m working late tonight.” That’s a phrase you probably find yourself uttering sometimes. It is an evil phrase. Maleficent says it just to make her lackeys shiver. Satan built Hell on the backs of overtime. This was me several days last week and this week so far. My real job is a Project Manager for an archival and data entry center. There are busy times of year and Spring is almost always one of our busier times. So what do I do?
I work late. I work early. I work 10-hour days. I work both of my weekend days.
It’s not an ideal situation, but sometimes it’s just a thing that has to be done. I am a Manager and that means I am salary and that means that if I have 60 hours worth of work to do in a week, I work 60 hours instead of the 40 I try to work.
I don’t begrudge the job these times. The company treats me well. But it is a thing, and in my limited span of time every day to write 1,000 words, suddenly working two additional hours is often the only free two hours I had that day. How do you get the words in when your professionally fiscal responsibilities demand otherwise?
Something has to suffer somewhere. There’s no way around that. Instead of making a long-winded dinner I’ll make a PB&J, or have a bowl of cereal. Instead of relaxing and unwinding with a little television or a video game, I cut them out. Instead of socializing like I might like to do on Facebook or Twitter or via in-game chats, or texting friends or any number of things, I have to avoid them all. Do you skip the load of laundry? Do you ignore the dishes or the trash?
If you have a significant other, children, or pets, this is even more complicated. Can you choose between them and your routine? Should it even be a choice? There’s no easy answer here and everyone’s situation is different. What works for me in these situations is trying to keep myself free most nights so that I’m not tied up in three hours worth of activity after a longer-than-usual day of work. That won’t work for everyone.
If you have to be there for your children, or your husband/wife, you damn well better be there for them. You can talk about guarding your writing time jealously, and I stand by that now more than ever because of the routine I have in place, but at what point does it become neglect? You have to be the arbiter of your free will and your free time. Make the decisions that work for you and those that are affected by you.
Whether it’s work, or children, or a cosmonaut space dog that landed in your back yard, figure it out and do what you have to do. For me, I have the luxury of cutting out things when work intrudes.
So work it out, get your words in, and always remember to write the hell on, writers.