Many, many years ago, when my husband and I were dating, I wrecked my car. Fortunately, Jeff had two cars: one for “normal” driving and an old beater he drove to work. (His job involved carrying around a lot of tools and putting a lot of mileage on his car.) This worked out great for me–he let me borrow the beater while we searched for a new car for me. It meant I’d need to learn to drive a stick-shift, though. After his dad spent a good afternoon in their vast back yard teaching me, I got the hang of it and Jeff sincerely complimented my gear-shifting skills.
That’s cars, though. When it comes to life, I’m not so proficient at gear-shifting.
I have a tendency to start something, and then plow through to the end, unable to stop and refocus on something else. I don’t like the “do it bit by bit” method. Yard work, for example. I don’t do a little bit each week or each day. I’d rather let the yard go to heck and then block off a whole week and do nothing but yard work, ignoring it the rest of the time. I save photo-printing for a day when I can do nothing but that all day long.
And when I write….
In some ways, this can be good, because when I set my mind on something I get it done. BUT, other things suffer. Cooking, for example. I become so engrossed in what I’m doing I forget I need to stop at 4:00 and start dinner. Not that it much matters, since I forgot all week to stop what I was doing and go grocery shopping for stuff to cook.
One thing that really gets messed up is my attitude about social events. I have a husband who loves to go-go-go on the weekends. He especially loves vacations of all sorts. Week-long road trips, three-day weekend camping trips, day trips to theme parks. I love those things, too, but when I’m in writing mode or cleaning mode or yard work mode I tend to short-circuit when he asks about planning trips. I know my mind will be on the writing or editing or whatever I’ve left behind, and I can’t focus on the fun we’re having.
I wish I were more relaxed about it. I know I’m supposed to stop and breath now and then. Stop and smell the roses and all that. But my brain just won’t let go until a project is finished.
It’s summer now, and Jeff keeps hounding me about “a summer vacation.” My response? “But, dear, my book is coming out in less than two months! I have editing! I have blah-blah-blah! Can’t we just wait till it’s all done?”
Sure, Kat. And at that point, summer is over. And of course, I’ll be starting a serious marketing campaign in Sept. How will I shift gears from that to take a vacation? And how will I shift back and forth between marketing and writing the next novel? And still remember to shop and cook…
Cars are so much easier.
PS–the winner of the print copy of ODD LITTLE MIRACLES by Fred Warren is….James Maxon! Congrats, James. Message me on Facebook so I can get your mailing address.