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How to get back to writing right after the holidays

Carriage Ride 2013-12

Carriage ride downtown Denver

(If you prefer Blogger, you can find this post here)

Truth: I have a hard time writing in chaos. Right now, on December 28th 2013, my house is in chaos.

There are presents that have not found a space to call home, there are clothes waiting to be folded and put away, there are children that have been playing too much Minecraft on their new Christmas devices, torn bows, ripped wrapping, and my desk is a mess. Furthermore, the beds are unmade! Anyone who knows me knows that the river of organization begins with made beds. All of this doesn’t even begin to brush up against the writing To Dos.

I’m a mess.

Maybe you are too?

How can I possibly write and edit with all this hanging over my head?

I don’t. It’s too hard for me to focus when my space is a scrambled mess. It would be easy to pop in that first disc of Season One Game of Thrones my husband bought me and just lose myself in that rich fantasy for the next twelve hours or so–but then what?

How to get back to a writing schedule that has been knocked off course by a Christmas Mack truck?

Of course everyone’s personal organizational strategies are different, but the way I will get back to writing is by first making a list. Part of the stress of having so many things to do is the mental spinning about ALL THE THINGS. For me, if I write them down, it allows my brain to stop worrying about them. They exist in a physical sense, on paper, and so my brain is then free to focus on completing the tasks instead of worrying about them.

So here’s my list for today, it’s not sexy, but it helps:

  • Make the beds
  • Fold the laundry and put it away
  • Bag up any stray wrappings and recycle
  • Open the garage and kick the kids outside
  • Organize my desk
  • Write some specific number of words in Affective Needs
  • Edit some specific number of chapters in Exquisite Immaculate Grace…
  • Dislodge the memory of how to lay out a book in InDesign from the recesses of my brain
  • Start laying out Exquisite Immaculate…in InDesign
  • Touch base with cover designer (in Wales)
  • Blog (check and done)
  • Etc, etc, etc

Honestly, I could go on forever, but lists need to be helpful tools not overwhelming machines of torture. I just put the most pressing items from several areas of my multidimensional life and try to tackle as many as I can. And writing absolutely has to be on that list as well–right in there with the dishes. Because let’s face it, if I were to wait until everything else in my life was perfectly organized and complete before I sat down to write, I would never, ever, get around to it.

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