Like a lot of Americans, I suspect, I have difficulties making the most of my time. It is just so easy to plop on the couch after work, think to myself, I’ve worked hard today earning a paycheck, I deserve to sit here and watch a movie or Dick Van Dyke, or otherwise do nothing productive unless I have to. This attitude is suicide for my writing career/plans, since evening is really the only time I have to write, unless I want to get up super early, which is next to impossible for a night owl like me. But evening is also the only time for me to clean and decorate my house, cook food for both dinner and the next day, and spend time with friends (few as they are) and my husband. Not to mention working out, reading, cross-stitching, or the other myriad of things I either enjoy doing or want to enjoy doing. I am sorry, but 4 hours just is not enough time to fit everything in! (That assumes, inaccurately, that I go to bed at a reasonable time) So usually, instead, I get home, think of everything I either want to or should do, become overwhelmed, make dinner, and spend the rest of the evening on the couch doing none of it because I can’t decide on a priority. By the way, if any of you readers balance a home life (without kids) and a career and a passion for writing, feel free to share how you manage your time.
So, anyway, I realized recently, that with all of the travel I am going to be taking, I will have a lot of down time at airports and on flights and even time alone in the hotel room at night. Once I thought about it, I realized it was almost like God shouting at me – “Hey, look what I am doing for you! I am removing distractions, allowing you to get paid, and work on your writing at the same time!” Ooohhh. What more can a writer/introvert ask for than an hour to 3 hours on an airplane with headphones and writing supplies, and then complete solitude in a hotel room that night? Discipline, apparently. Until the realization of just how blessed I am to have this opportunity really hit me, I spent the time alone mostly watching TV – again.
But I am determined to make the most of my time for once. I just got back from a trip to Boston, and between the airplane and the hotel room, I wrote about 800 words in my book (terribly ill-written, but written nonetheless), almost caught up on my Writer’s Digest magazines, caught up on my email/facebook messages, and even had a little time for reading. I turned the tv on a couple times, and forced myself to turn it off soon after. I didn’t do as well on the return flight, mostly because I had a middle seat and didn’t like the idea of my seatmates watching me try to type or write a sappy story. So I read instead. But still! I call that improvement! And I am going to continue to work to discipline myself and make the most of the time God has given me.