Well, as one might have been able to judge by the lack of updates this past week, last week was something of a complete washout. I’m not quite sure what it was that derailed the week’s plans, but I’m going to be making a few changes for the coming week to see if that helps. But before I do that, I’m going to list five things that went *well* last week, because even though I wasn’t remotely as productive as I would have liked, and there were a number of personal things that came up that were out of anyone’s control, there were still a few good things I should try to remember:
1. I finished FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury. — This is one of the few goals I actually met this past week (and that, technically mostly on Saturday). It’s a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages, and my hubby was listening to it on his drives to and from Pittsfield, so we had a great time discussing it and the ideas therein. It was a lovely time, and we’ll have to do this again sometime soon.
2. I ate better. — Contrary to last week, I had kefir and frozen fruit and bananas around the house, so that meant delicious (fibrous and protein-rich) fruit smoothies in the morning with breakfast! I’m still not saying I’m a bastion of perfect nutrition, but it was a big improvement despite my penchant for Eggo Waffles with Lyle’s syrup this week, too. :)
3. I had a good cello lesson on Tuesday. — I’m starting (slowly) to get the hang of bowing parallel to the bridge, though that brings with it its own challenges. I learned how to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in one lesson, which is a huge and wildly delightful achievement, since I recall it took me almost a whole year to learn that little ditty on the violin when I was in first grade. I’ll take it! Plus reading THE CELLO by Elizabeth Cowling (my relax-before-bed read) has really opened my eyes to the mechanics of the cello and its history, which just makes it that much more fascinating!
4. The Baby is healthy! — And I’m right on target for weight-gain, so all things said, everything is actually really good. The baby’s been kicking up a storm this past week (little energy legs, and maybe the occasional fist bump, too), and the hubby got to feel it for the first time this weekend, which was awesome. If the baby being healthy and growing just as he should isn’t what matters most, I don’t know what is.
5. I got out of the house and was social. — I actually got to enjoy some great friend time this week with two close pals of mine. With one, we had a chance to grab dinner and a movie, and with the other we went to IHOP to satisfy a BLT craving I was having at the time. It was delightful and refreshing, and while I perhaps let those things distract me from my weekly goals, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. It’s always so great to see and visit with them and to be reminded that we’re all in the same boat, trying to make our post-college lives into something we can be proud of and excited about. It’s not always easy, but I know we’re all on the right track, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
There were a number of other good things, too, come to think of it. Like so far (*fingers crossed*) not coming down with the flu like my dad and my hubby did this past week, and locking down some good editing ideas, and reading a bunch in MINDFUL BIRTHING (which is my go-to “calm the hell down; it’s going to be okay” book). I also discovered that writing by hand IS a lot of fun, and while it is slower (see below), it often results in some very snappy scenes and sequences that seem to lack the fluff I normally stick in when typing. The cats haven’t been especially obnoxious at night. I got a good ways towards finishing the Apex project, too, and just have a bit left to finish up Monday/Tuesday, and then that’ll be done. The hubby, due to said illness, got to come home a bit earlier than usual this week, which meant (despite wearing medical masks to limit my exposure that first evening) I got to spend a bit more time with him this weekend than usual, which is always a plus. That meant he was also here when he received some bad family news, which wasn’t entirely unexpected, but no less difficult to hear, which meant he wasn’t alone or driving back here when he heard. So all in all, it was a busy and good (minus the bad news) week, even if it wasn’t the week I’d planned or hoped for.
That said, there are a few tweaks I’m going to make to my writing plans in order to hopefully facilitate a more dependable productivity in the coming weeks.
1. I’m going to limit myself to editing OR rough-drafting one story a week. – I used to be able to multi-task multiple projects at one time, but lately I’ve found juggling projects much more exhausting and complicated. Perhaps it’s working on two short stories (rather than one short story and drafting a novel) that throws me off these days. Anyway, to see if the multitasking is part of what makes my head spin, I’m going to tackle one project at a time and FINISH it before moving on to the next, hopefully with week-long goals still intact. This next week, I shall continue the rewrite of “The Miracle of Jane” into a flash fiction, and see how that goes. Once that’s done, I’ll pick up where I left off on the octopus story, because so far, I really like it and just keep getting distracted by editing.
2. I’m going to write in the mornings, after breakfast. — I tried the whole “write right when I wake up” thing, and it just doesn’t work for me. With the cats and my parents’ dog and my usual inclination to get warmer (the house temp (controls downstairs) is usually down pretty low in the A.M. and it’s up to me to adjust it to what I’d like), and then my pregnancy related need to pee first thing in the A.M. pretty much gets me up and moving too much to then feel justified crawling *back* into bed, and by then the fuzzy fluff-brain of sleep is pretty much gone. So I’m going back to writing after breakfast, since that actually saw results. Lesson learned!
I may try to read more in the afternoons, but I’m leaving that open-ended for now, since reading one book a week hasn’t actually been a problem as of yet. If it’s getting done, why change anything? Plus with various outside work that needs to be focused on a bit, my afternoons may be a bit wiffly for the next couple of days, and I don’t want to have to keep more goals in mind than the two above. Baby steps, I remind myself! Baby steps!