01-19-19 – Judith Ashley – My Sanctuaries and Safe Havens: Writing and Spiritual Practices

Friday, May 12, 2017

Pulled in Two Directions!

In honor of the blog-o-verery of Romancing the Genres if you answer the question at the end you will be in a drawing for a gift card! You have till Monday, May 15th to respond!

I reinvent myself on a daily basis, in both my writing and personal life. Writing I go between writing and working on my novel, doing book reviews for Romance Junkie Reviews.com, posting for this blog and working on marketing, taking writing classes etc.

In my personal life I am a care taker of my 91 yr. old Mom who lives with us. How does this change on a daily basis? One day I’m her chauffer, the next day I’m her personal assistant calling in prescriptions, setting up appointments. I take her to pedicure and hair appointments. 

I put the ice pack on her knees and leg when they hurt, get her Tyleno, her heating pad, turn on the fireplace for her and fix her tea, lunch etc. I keep the house clean and I’m the chef and bottle washer.

These two parts of my life tend to clash quite often. I try planning my writing day, but frequently something from my personal life interferes. Consequently I’ve been searching for ways to focus better on my writing. When I can focus I find I can get right back to writing without too much delay after being interrupted.

On a couple of my writing loops I’ve gained some helpful suggestions.
1) I joined a goal loop for weekly word count. Having to report my word count weekly shows me how I’m doing and encourages me to write even if it is just for one or two hours a day.

2) I make daily goals for both the household: chores, appointments, chauffeuring etc. and daily goals for my writing. If I don’t scratch a goal off the list it gets put on the next day goal list. I have found I can stay better focused on both my ‘jobs’.

3) I make time for myself. To read, to relax outside, garden anything that gives me nourishment for my soul. I find with these moments of relaxation I am able to tackle problems that arise without being resentful.

If you answer the question below, you will be in the drawing for an Amazon Gift card.

Are you a list maker?


Judith Ashley said...

Had to laugh at your question, Diana. Read my #ftb post for today and I bet you will also.

I think it is helpful for those of us with more than one role/job/hat to fully recognize them and keep them distinct from each other as you are doing. That clarity of focus does help us come back to the one role from the other ready to move forward.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Great post, Diana. So many of us are caregivers on top of our other roles, and it sounds like you are doing a great job--hang in there.

Diana McCollum said...

Thanks Judith! I will check out your blog post!

Thanks for reading, Lynn. Are you a caretaker too?

SusanD said...

Of course I make lists. They're pretty informal sometimes. But I try to keep them organized. Meaning, putting them in places I'll find them again.
it's very fluid, but I have to make a list when I got out to run errands so we don't spend time or gas recklessly.
I'm not too religious about checking things off, and probably lose some of the gratification that comes from that. I've been keeping long-term goals on OneNote on the computer. Espeically in regard to putting out my novel HEAR NO EVIL.
Thanks for asking, but sounds like you have the trick down pat.

Barbara Rae Robinson said...

I do make lists. I have lots of them. All over my desk. Yes, I do need to become more methodical now. For a long time, my goal was avoiding stress. Going with the flow of what I wanted to do. And I do want to do my writing first thing in the morning, if nothing interferes. I need to dig out my tablets with lists on them and consolidate them. And see what's left to be done. Lots, I'm sure.

Diana McCollum said...

Thanks for stopping by Sue & Barb!

I need that gratification of crossing things off! LOL!

Sarah Raplee said...

I am definitely a list maker. For one thing, the older I get, the more I forget, so I need to have a reference tool. I do enjoy crossing things off. I like your method of choosing three goals for each role in your life, and moving any that don't get done to the next day. I'd also need a master list to choose goals from, or I'd forget important items.

I use my phone calendar almost religiously to remember important events and appointments.

Great post!

Deb Noone said...

Diana, I make lists of lists :-) For errands, like Sue, my annual goal list (the big picture), my daily and weekly TO DO lists for both writing and personal life. Amazingly I manage to get a lot on my writing list crossed off (in orange Sharpie- since that makes me feel accomplished), but for some reason the personal stuff gets pushed from week to week. So that non-utilized list does add (or not diminish) the chaos that is life.

Barbara Strickland said...

All the time. Do I follow the lists? I try but I am weak lol

Karen Duvall said...

Great post, Diana. You do a lot, and making those lists are important.

I'm an inconsistent list maker. I always make a grocery list that both my husband and I contribute to. He uses it as a means of comic relief because he thinks list making is boring. So he makes up nicknames for the stuff he adds to the list and my challenge is to decipher these names when I shop. However, he usually does the grocery shopping because he's already at the store (he works at Whole Foods), but sometimes I do it, so I need to translate all these made-up names he comes up with.

Examples: Breed (2 loaves of bread)
Snake Fly (steak fries)
Tater Toots (tater tots)
Yag (yogurt)
Peeny Btr (Peanut Butter)
Joose (juice)

You get the idea. :)

My to-do lists are sporadic and usually work-related. I know it helps to make them, and it does feel good to mark items off when completed, but if I get started making a list it will never stop and then I won't get the stuff on my list done. See my logic here?

Time to go make some lists...

Melissa Yi said...

Excellent job taking care of your mom and prioritizing your writing, Diana.

No, I'm not a big list-maker. I will make them if my life is out of control, and I do put a few things on my iCalendar, but otherwise, if I really don't want to forget something, I'll make a mark on my left hand. Worked when I was a kid, and still works now--even in the ER. :)

Diana McCollum said...

Yes, Sarah, I too forget things, hence the LIST!

Deb, you are so funny, making lists of lists! Whatever keeps you on track.
Thanks for stopping by, Barbara.

Oh, Karen, your husband is too funny! You've got to use that grocery list in a book!

Thanks for the suggestion, Melissia, a mark on the left hand, I'm going to have to try that!

Marie Harte said...

Great post, Diana. I too make lists. And then I forget where I put them! LOL