After the pandemic hit, my employer made us remote, and so I am working from home. I appreciate the savings on gas. Even when I was carpooling to work, I used a tank each week. Now I can wait at least two weeks before filling up.
I also enjoy having my buddy Arwen with me while I work. She sometimes missed me when I was away at work, but now she enjoys having me at home all day. I placed her favorite blanket on a chair next to my desk, and so she often spends much of the work day with me. This blanket is old and worn out. Most people would probably throw it away, but she loves it. She has taken countless naps on it, and so I cannot throw it away yet.
She can be demanding when she wants attention. She does not bother me when I am working. Studying, however, is another matter. The semester is over, but I am studying for a certification test. Recently I was looking through some practice questions when she jumped onto my desk and dropped down on my book. It was as if she was telling me that it was time to stop studying and pay attention to her. I gave her some rubs, finished what I was doing, and then spent some time with her.
She continues to amuse me in other ways. She loves to chase her laser pointer. She knows the red dot is not a bug running across the floor. Instead, she knows it come from the laser pointer and that I control it. If I leave the top right drawer of my desk open, then she will sometimes dig through the drawer to find the pointer. If I am sitting at my desk, she might rub her paw on the drawer or gently claw my leg to ask me to play. When I bring out the laser pointer, she crouches down to get ready. Then the hunt begins, and I once again witness the contradiction that is the mind of a cat. She will chase the dot with a passion as if it a dangerous enemy she has sworn an oath to vanquish. She will then suddenly stop chasing it and lick herself, unconcerned and ignoring the dot, until she is ready to resume the chase. Cats are weird.
I am also back to writing. The demands of work and school can push writing aside, but it remains in the back of my mind. I let the habit fall away, but it continues to nag me. I cannot ignore the urge forever. To reorient my thinking on it, I am reading two books: 1) 47 Mind Hacks for Writers: Master the Writing Habit in 10 Minutes Or Less and End Writer’s Block and Procrastination for Good by Karen and Steve Dimmick; and 2) The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins. I have found both helpful.
When returning to writing, Dimmick suggests starting small, so that it is easy to re-establish the habit, and then gradually increasing the volume. That makes sense. It is easier to reach a daily goal when the habit is already in place. Goins suggests that you listen to circumstances in your life that have pointed in a direction that you may not have originally planned. Even if writing remains a part time endeavor, various elements of my life do seem to point that way.
What do you do to commit to writing when time is hard to find, or when struggling with writer’s block, or when your writing does not measure up to what you see in your head?