How many of us have put in a load of laundry on our way to the space where we write? Or sit down to write, but first respond to emails that can take 20 minutes or more responding to others, and not getting to the writing. I am guilty of the first, but try hard to avoid the emails before writing. I prefer to wake up, make coffee, and prepare a bowl of fruit. If my husband is up, I say “Good Morning” and “How did you sleep?” We share a kiss and a hug, and then I’m off to work to my study.
My intention is to be in my study between 8 AM and 9 AM. Today I started later. I stayed in bed reading, Old School by Tobias Wolff. It is such a treat. But usually I am faithful to my intention.
I treasure my study with a lock on the door. If I follow my own advice, I start writing where I left off the day before. In order to know where to start, at the end of each working day, I write on a white lined tablet, “The Date” NEXT TIME” in a green sharpie pen. It is very specific. An example is, “Reread “I Will Send the Police After You” with edits from the copy editor.
I call the tablets my schedule. Of course, it could be on the computer, but I like doing this by hand. And at the end of day, I enjoy checking off in red pen, the tasks I have completed.
My schedule is easier to keep that avoiding emails. If I am expecting some particular response, I find it hard to avoid “just looking.” This is always dangerous, and can delay my work of writing.