Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wake Up, Stupid

It's 6:08 a.m., the time of the day when I seem most able to write.

Not because I'm brilliant at this time in the morning. No... but at this time all I hear is my grandfather clock ticking, and everyone else is still sleeping. The hubby has been quite obliging lately, elbowing me to get up by 4:15 each morning (as if he's dreaming that I'm sleeping through an alarm I didn't even set), so I've had time to catch up on e-mail, pay some bills, and even do a Sudoku game up to this point.

So I'm awake, I guess. But not really.

How much are we really awake during the day, anyway?

It's a basic question, not too complicated. How much do we pay attention when we are driving, for instance? I drove right past the library on Tuesday, then drove right past the post office Wednesday. If I'm on auto-pilot in the car, when I probably pay attention most, what am I doing the rest of the day?

The truth is, I'm distracted. I have thoughts racing through my head--fears, too--and lately they are keeping me from enveloping myself in the present moment. Even as I counsel my daughter about math or nag my son about his homework, I'm fearing the future if they can't grasp the concepts I'm teaching. Even as I write this (or work on novels), the voices I mentioned earlier (in a post two days ago) creep into my consciousness, slithering around until what I would like to write is a jumble.

I feel like I'm half awake, only half aware, and it's not a good feeling.

My kids are only half-engaged, too. They are brooding through their assignments, most of their brain energy focused on the moment they will get to play video games. But that is the whole problem. Their lack of focus means that homework is five times harder and takes five times longer to do. And that means they are literally finishing up their final piece of it right before bed. No video games for them!

So last night I took it all away. No TV, no video games, no computer for the time being. Until they can focus, their only outlet will be physical activity...

That has to be my rule, as well. No TV, no video games, nothing but physical activity until I really throw myself into this novel. (I have to get the physical activity, or I will go completely crazy, and crazy is no way to write--or is it? Hmmm... must think about that one.)

IF I revise at least a chapter AND/OR spend at least an hour on my novel today, I get some TV or other fun time. If I don't... well, then I get diddly squat, as I'd say to my kids. We've all got to wake up, get our work done, and earn the play time at the end of the day.

If you have advice for me, advice to make me wake up, to stop putting off my writing, please let me know!

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