Thursday, January 27, 2011

School Holidays And Work

Only a few weeks left until school takes up again. And for the first time, all three of my kids will be at school five days a week.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

I got carried away last year, knowing the Mau-Mau would be out for two days a week. I tried taking on a whole bunch of extra shit. I shouldn't have done that.

This year I've been more careful. I've signed up for a Masters degree, yes. And I'll see if I can't work up to my 2nd Dan grading. I also want to put some of those hours to use on the grounds and property. Should be able to achieve a fair bit there.

But mostly, I want to try to work. I want to actually establish a work habit measured in thousands of words per day. I know I can do this. Four to six thousand words in a day isn't new to me.

The thing is, to produce that sort of output I can't be sitting in my study with one ear half-cocked for the sound of screaming children. I can't be glancing at my watch every ten minutes, calculating what I've got to do about making lunch for several. And I cannot be responsible for coming up with plans and routines to motivate and interest children when their own imaginations fail.

Writing takes time.

I try to pick it up at the end of the day, but there's no way I can stay in bed later than eight in the morning. Usually seven-thirty. And the family isn't safely abed until nine-thirty, maybe ten at night. And I'm not a person who can sit down and immediately pick up the the energy and the complex thread of what I was writing yesterday - I need to ease in by reading, editing, etc.

That does make writing a damned difficult proposition for me. And so I'm looking forward to this year. Which is probably bad, because something is bound to happen to screw it up.


  1. I wish you good luck in the endeavours, indeed should be easier given the previous strictures.

  2. I'd keep my fingers crossed, except I'm using 'em to type.

  3. Good luck with it, hope there's not too many kinks slide in. Mind you some kinks can be fun. As can nuns and ninjas, so I'm pulling for more of that sort of gear.

  4. I wish you well. Personally, I am tired of people asking what I do with all my 'free time' now that I have 3 days a week when both kids are at school (Lillian is home with me on Tues/Thurs). I am tired of it because the answer is usually found on a long, and seemingly bottomless, 'to do' list of things that are not of my choosing. Sure, I always snag a bit of time for myself, but the list is always lurking.

  5. Oh, yeah... that vast, enormous well of three days a week. Woohoo.

    I know all about that one. And with my two-days-a-week perspective from this last year, I'm not even faintly jealous.

  6. Don't know if it would work for you, but Birmo seems to be having some success with his Pomodoro (i)? technique. Something to do with a plastic tomato....

    Best of luck settling into a routine. And I just don't imagine you as the type to lose the plot when those unavoidable, unpredictable interruptions occur to screw up that routine!

  7. O.k. Flinthart-I'm taking this challenge with you. A thousand words a day man! We can both do it. :)

  8. read, some edits and then ease back into it, having established.... familiarity with it once again I would say.

    Very much the same, only its my DAILY work getting in the way.

    BUT, its no different really with you, the OTHER daily work getting in the way.

    I'm willing to be, we get a post of sorts at about the 1 month mark, that will be the rather large allocation of time and the...very different atmosphere around the house having all the monsters at school. I have no doubt you will revel in it..once you adjust.

  9. It's going to be interesting. That much is certain. I'm pretty sure the first week will mostly be me wandering around the house, appreciating silence.

  10. are we going to take bets on how long before you get asked, " what have you been doing all day, kids are not here any more!!"

  11. I'm thinking: less than two weeks.