Photograph by Robert Lowman Photography

Between lengthy holiday festivities, ice, snow, flu, and working, it feels like the Near Year of 2017 hasn’t really begun, yet hear we are into February already. Once things began to slow down and get back to normal, I had a chance to think and review.

I attended a writers’ meeting in which the speaker advised that we had certain things we writers had to do every day to get and keep our readers interested. Like get all blogging done at specific times of the week or month, constantly ensuring our writing quality is at its peak. We are to stay on top of our social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked-In. We are also to prepare for writing conferences and study the speakers, editors, agents and costs before registering. We writers are also required to keep our newsletters up to date and flowing to our various readerships on a consistent basis. All of this ON TOP of writing our manuscripts – also ensuring the quality of our writing at all phases.

While listening to this speaker and taking notes, a thought occurred: When am I supposed to have time to get all of this done? Not like I don’t have any other commitments. I went home and made a list of what my responsibilities are.

My doctor has requested that I take better care of my body by drinking eight glasses of water per day, and exercise, or at least walk, 20 minutes a day. I should prepare only healthy meals three times a day, plus two healthy snacks, including my daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, as well as count my calories. Then I am to get eight hours of sleep per night.

I am responsible for my day job, which entails eight hours a day, plus a one-hour commute each way. Once I receive my paycheck, I am to pay my bills in a timely manner, balance the checkbook, and keep track of investments and 401k to see that they are performing as expected.

The house is to be properly maintained, and then whatever breaks is fixed accurately and within my budget. And then there are the household chores to be done: dishes to be washed and put up, laundry to be washed, dried, folded or hung up in the closet. There is also dusting, vacuuming, beds to be made, bathrooms cleaned, floors swept and mopped, and trash to be sorted for recycling before being taken out on a certain day.

Upon coming home, I check the mailbox and organize what is important and throw away the rest. It is imperative that I file away proper records and bills, especially for tax preparation. If this not handled correctly, headaches and frustration will abound, causing further delays and stress.

My car is to be well maintained, and any and all repairs to be completed correctly, and again, within my budget.

As I currently have two dogs and a cat, they must be properly watered and fed to remain healthy, plus the regular trips to the vet and pet stores.

And last, but certainly not least, are my family and friends. I am to keep track of all birthdays and prepare for such. And let us not forget there are major holidays, such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I am to spend quality time with my husband and children, which is not easy because we are empty nesters, and our “kids” barely live in the same state as us.

After reviewing the list, I sat back and sighed heavily. “When do I work on my manuscript?” I asked aloud. “What or who shall I give up?”

A little voice in the back of my head said softly, “In the time it took you to drive to/from and attend the meeting, then later put together this list, you could have been working on your manuscript.


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