Making the Time and Using it Constructively
So, there I was hurriedly trying to cram the knowledge of the how-to-write world into my already cluttered mind when I realized the cliff is ahead, or I can take a breather and regroup.
I noticed I was starting to become more scattered yet focused on how to write and what people thought of my writing than actually writing. So I pulled up on the brake and thought.
I love becoming immersed in projects. They can fuel me if worked on wisely. BUT, they can also throw me onto a hamster wheel that spins out of control until I fly off of it against the wall. Recovery time varies.
I don’t want to quit writing my memoirs. I have just started. I have something to say and I think others will benefit from reading about my journey.
But, I have to take care of my physical and mental health in order to reach my goal. Together, we will find out if I can prevail.
So, what is the plan? That is right, I need a PLAN – words rarely out of my mouth.
I need to take all the dog eared memories, lessons, and piles of minutiae in my jumbled mind and make sense of them. It is going to take a lot of work, but I have time.
- I am now scheduling time on my calendar. An hour here for reading my how-to’s, two hours there to work on my draft, another 2 hours several times a week to participate in online writer’s groups, and write a critique or two. I am not so rigid that there isn’t some leeway allowed if something interesting comes up. But I think having a plan is necessary for ADHDers embarking on projects.
- I am not scheduling the same work every day. This allows me a variety. Something I need in abundance.
- I am continuing to participate in my writer’s groups, three a week. Zoom has made this possible, and I am getting to know writers I never would have been able to make contact with before the virus. We have specific times to meet which helps me be accountable.
- I stop work after 5 pm every night. This way I can have a glass of wine and sit on our fabulous terrace for dinner and sunset. And I can dedicate time to my very patient husband. Later we just vegetate on Netflix or zone out with a good book.
- I need to make sure I get out of the house. I can get so immersed and focused that I forget we have a stunning town and beautiful surroundings to wander through. I need to allow myself breaks.
This is actually a whole new process for me. I have never scheduled or planned anything in my life. I have tried, but no matter how many lists I have written or calendars and organizers I have bought it just hasn’t worked. Instead, I see a mixture of garbled wallpaper, unable to be recognized as individual pieces of information.
Since we moved to San Miguel I have noticed an unusual calm that has settled over me. My stress level has remarkably gone down now that I don’t have traffic, appointments, parking lots, bills, and schedules to create havoc and use up time. I get to do things on Zoom or in the peaceful courtyards of cafes and restaurants. And I have yet to go ballistic with one of my “there is too much noise in my head and I can’t filter” anger episodes.
Life is brilliant and with my memoirs, I would like to show others that it is possible to turn turmoil into tranquility. I just had to learn how to breathe.