“A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.”
- Annie Dillard
It’s winter break! This means time to write ALL WEEK. Hooray!
Except Saturday because my in-laws and nephew are visiting.
No big deal. There’s always Sunday. Except they’re staying for part of the day and then my husband and I have some errands to run and we invited a friend over for dinner.
No matter because there’s Monday. My husband is off so I’m sure I can squeeze in some time except that two boys come over to hang out and one sleeps over and there’s laundry to do.
TODAY, Tuesday is THE DAY. My daughter is going to taekwondo camp from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and then I’m going to drop off the boy who slept over and then I’m going home to write until noon when I have to take a shower and run errands. It’s gonna be GREAT!
Watch my schedule unfold:
7:57 am – I’m up. I don’t have to leave for 45 minutes. Excellent.
8:05 am – Wake up my daughter. She’s kind of snuggly, so maybe I’ll rest in her bed for a few minutes.
8:20 am – I badger the three children to choose a cereal and a fruit.
8:40 am – My daughter rushes to get ready. I decide to come back to get the boy who slept over instead of dragging him out now. Let them play a little longer.
9:15 am – I’ve dropped off my daughter, run to get $ to pay for the camp, returned to the Taekwondo place. It’s locked! I pound on the door. No answer. I pound on the window. The master opens the door. I pay and hurry home.
9:21 am – Sleepover boy hops in the car. I drive him home.
9:28 am – I pull in his driveway. His brother is running down his porch steps to go to a friend’s house. I drop sleepover boy off. Just before I exit the driveway, sleepover boy runs over to me.
“I’m locked out.”
Apparently his brother locked the door fifteen seconds before we reached him. And neither boy has the key. No matter – sister is upstairs.
“No, she isn’t,” brother tells me.
My head is spewing a steady stream of curses.
I pull out of the driveway so the minivan can pull out to take brother to his playdate. I call the mother who is at work. Yes, the sister is home. She’ll call the sister’s cell phone and try to wake her up. I sit in the car and call the house number.
9:40 am - I decide to walk over to the house and shout the girl’s name near her 2nd-floor window.
When I do she yells, “I’m here. I tried to find you but you weren’t in and I locked myself out.”
My head is again spewing a steady stream of curses.
“Why didn’t you just wait for us? Why didn’t you take a key?”
“I don’t have a key.”
She’s got a cell phone though and she’s on the phone with her dad. He tells her there’s a key outside! HOORAY! She thinks it’s the wooden cart, but it’s not. Turns out it’s hidden under another wooden piece which is ENCASED IN ICE. No metal tools available because they’re also in the house.
9:50 am – I call the mother. She gives me the address to her work.
I drive to the next town over to collect the key.
10:23 am - When I see both half-sister and sleepover boy open the door and enter the house, I leave.
10:27 am – I enter my home. I’m not in the mood to write.
10:28 am – I reheat my coffee.
10:30 am – I prepare a cover letter to send along with a manuscript.
11:06 am – I pay bills.
11:27 am – I check my e-mails. A friend of my husband’s sent me an introduction to critique. I critique it.
11:52 am – My husband calls. I complain about my lost writing time.
“Write now,” he offers.
“I’m not in the right frame of mind,” I explain. I’d planned to settle in by 9:30 am and write until noon, take a shower, and then run errands before picking up my daughter. “And I should write a blog post,” I add.
“Why don’t you write about what happened this morning?”
12:00 pm – Write post.
12:23 pm – Find a quote to match the post.
12:34 pm – Put up post.
12:35pm - Take a sorely needed shower.
There’s always this afternoon…
“Next week there can’t be any crisis. My schedule is already full.”
- Henry Kissinger
Writers, how do you stay on schedule?
Do you have a schedule?