Monday, August 17, 2009

What a difference time makes

It's hard to believe how much my life has changed in the past year. So many things have happened, both good and bad. Sometimes, I don't even feel like the same person. Along with those changes, have come decisions, even unintentional ones.

With all of the things life has thrown at me, my writing has had to take a backseat to everything else. I'm not happy about that, but that's what has happened anyway. I didn't decide for that to be the case, yet here it is.

A lot of it has to do with my changing jobs. Talk about a complete turn around. No, I'm still in the same business. I haven't changed careers. What has changed is mainly my hours. I used to work nights. Now, I work days. Big change. I also used to work twelve hour shifts three days a week. Now, I work eight hour shifts five days a week. It amazes me how my free time has changed. You really wouldn't think it would make that much of a difference. After all, it's only a matter of a few work hours, but I can tell you, my free time has changed dramatically.

It's hard to believe, but I actually got in more writing time working three twelve hour shifts on nights than I do now. Granted, it's wonderful working days again. I haven't done that in years, but I find it so much harder to actually get face time with my writing. When I worked nights, I didn't get to write much during those three days I was working, but I had four days a week off. Even if I needed to run around for a couple days a week with errands and trying to keep the house clean, that still left me a couple days I could devote to my writing. Now that I'm on five days a week, my two days off are pretty full. It was really hard giving up those extra days off, even though the twelve hour shifts can take a lot out of you.

Another thing was the change from nights to days. When I worked nights, I had trouble switching my sleeping back and forth, so many times I would just stay up all night when I was off. There's not a lot to do at 3 o'clock in the morning, and there's not much on TV at that time, either. My writing worked well on those long nights when the rest of the world was sleeping. I got a lot accomplished during those hours. Now that I'm working days, I don't have that alone time that I used to have. When I get off work now, there's too much to do. Supper has to be cooked, the house picked up, laundry to be done. There is also people vying for my attention. I understand that. They haven't got to talk to me all night and day, the evenings are the only times they get to tell me what's going on in their lives. Unless I want to stay up until 3 a.m. to write, it just doesn't happen.

I'm still learning the new responsibilities of my new job, and I think that once I've got that down it will help. I come home brain fried and not wanting to think about anything. That has made my writing suffer. Hopefully, that part will straighten out and I'll feel more ready to write again.

I realize that there are a lot of people out there who do this all the time and still find time for their writing. I just haven't found my groove yet. I know that I have to make a decision to put my writing back on the front burner, but when I'm feeling so exhausted, both mentally and physically, all the time it's hard to do. But, I will do it. Writing is too important to me to not figure it out. Once I set my mind to something, I always strive to reach my goal.

I'm still amazed at how much difference just a few hours can make. Have you ever found that to be the case? How do you handle your schedule? I'd love some tips.


glenys said...

Sierra - don't be so hard on yourself! You've got lots going on, no wonder you're distracted from writing. Give yourself time to get used to the new routine; then draw up a schedule so that you can plan some writing time while still accomplishing everything else. In the meantime, writing is therapy, after all - see if you can find ten minutes at work or at home when you can scribble down a few ideas or a paragraph or two so that you at least feel you're still connected to writing.
And look yourself in the eye in the mirror and repeat :"This, too, shall pass". :-) - hugs, Glenys

Sierra Wolfe said...

Thanks Glenys. I appreciate it. I have always been too hard on myself. I hear that alot. LOL. Thanks for the advice. I promise to try to follow it.

Alisha Paige said...

That is so true...this too shall pass. I had to remind myself that after the birth of my son. I was so afraid I wouldn't meet my deadline for an anthology. Deadline was in April and I gave birth in December. I was hardly sleeping and had two other kids to take care of too. Well, it did pass. I did meet the deadline and things will only get better for you too. This is something weird I've discovered. The more I've got going on, the more I work to squeeze in that valuable writing time. It seems when I have all the time in the world, I get less writing done. When you're worried you won't have enough time, you make time...or at least I do. Hang in there. It will get easier and you'll learn to find the best schedule.


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