Showing Up

Today has been characterised by a massive case of holiday hangover/Sunday night blues.  The holidays were a much-needed break, as I’m sure they were for most, and the prospect of returning to the regular drudgery of the day job is saddening, as I’m sure it is for most.

It’s late at night, and I’m trying to quickly churn out my day’s writing before heading to bed, all the while quieting the desire to get up and play games, watch TV, read a book – anything that isn’t making myself sit here and do it.

At the weekends I have a hard time showing up.  Sometimes I hate it.  You’d think it was easier to write at the weekends, when I have two days to relax and get stuck into it without the weekday schedule getting in my way.  But I find it’s the opposite.  I have my most productive days when I race to the office early, fitting in half an hour of writing before work, then half an hour at lunch, hoarding the minutes wherever I can, and finally topping it off with a longer session after dinner.  Why is that?

My time is a limited and precious resource, but I can’t really convince myself of that at the weekend.  During the week I feel each and every demand on my time and it motivates me not to waste any of it.  I don’t want my accomplishments in life to end at turning up for work each day, so I press myself to do more.  I usually have my most productive writing days during the week.  At the weekend I’m faced with an expanse of unstructured time.  I’m convinced that if I get up on Saturday morning and spend the next four hours lying around in pyjamas that it will still be Saturday morning.  After all, I haven’t done much.  I just want to relax a bit, and leave the hard tasks for a later part of that infinity.  Of course, Sunday night always comes, and that’s when I have to scramble to put a bit more work in.

This year I do not want to waste the opportunity afforded to me by the two entire days each week where I can write without having to think about reports or spreadsheets (well, except for the one I use to record my word count).  The trick is structure.  Getting up and ready for the day, putting in a block of time, taking a break then going back to it later.  Being as consistent as I can manage.

Sometimes when you just show up, the writing grows, the inspiration takes off, you make the progress you need, and then you find out you still have another glorious eight hours in which to watch cat videos, if that’s what you want to do.

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