Great Expectations

thOverwhelm. You would think with all the technology we have available to us, our lives would be simpler. Not so. It just raises the expectation. And I don’t even get on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media sites with any regularity. Nor do I have children at home who expect me to play chauffeur. And my husband? He’s pretty self-sufficient once he’s out the door every morning.

So what sucks up all my time?

When I taught full-time, I still cooked dinner every night, managed to clean the house once a week, exercised regularly and had a decent social life. Now that I work from home, everything else suffers. Why is this? I don’t commute, spend much time on clothes and makeup or pack a lunch. And yet, unless we’re having company, the house is bathed in a fine layer of dirt (pollen and dust in spring and summer, ash from the woodstove in autumn and winter), dust bunnies lurk in every corner and I’m lucky to get a shower before mid-afternoon. And I don’t even want to think about the weeds in my garden!

I imagine most people who know I’m a writer think I spend an inordinate amount of time doing…well…nothing. I mean, really, how hard can it be to write. This is why it’s important that I have connections with other writers—people who understand the grueling work it is to come up with just the right word—and, on a good day, I come up with about two or three thousand of them.

But I don’t think the problem is that others don’t take my writing seriously, but I don’t take it seriously. Oh, there are stretches of time that I’m very productive, and yet, I do seem to spend a lot of time just trying to get started. I’ve always said, if someone would tell me what the scene entails and give me the first line, the rest would be a snap—and it is, once I get those two things cemented in my mind. But it’s amazing how much time is spent staring at a blank space and panicking that maybe, this time, the words just won’t come.

It’s so much easier to focus on the garden and house work, which may be why I’m often pulled away from writing if someone else needs me for something—anything but wracking my brain for words that elude me. I’ve tried to be more disciplined, to vow that I’ll write on Fridays even with my husband home. But it rarely happens.

And now that I have a deadline looming in the very near future, we’re starting a remodel project. It’s not like we’re going to be doing the work ourselves, but construction has a way of interrupting daily life. For twelve weeks, I’ll need to be available for those little decisions that often need to be made NOW while still maintaining a weekly quota of prose.

All this to say if you find I’m a bit sporadic with the blog posts, I hope you’ll bear with me. I will attempt to keep up with the twice a week posts throughout this short season, but once a week is more realistic. You can always subscribe (on the Blog Page—be sure you’re subscribing to the email, not the newsletter, which is the first signup you’ll see) and then you’ll be informed when the posts are published.

3 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. Jennifer, it will be a challenge when the construction begins but maybe you can move your work area to a quieter place or where head phones!!! Keeping to in my prayers!

  2. Wow! I know this sounds terrible, but it is nice to hear that someone (who from this point of view) is near perfect at keeping things in hand struggles too! You have always had such tremendously high expectations of yourself and I hope that especially during this remodel time, you can give yourself a break. I look forward to each and every blog whether it comes twice a week or twice a month. God blesses all of us when you post, so when you do, know it is HIS timing! Love you and hope that you can find the words and the peach you need in His time! Di

  3. ooops, I meant PEACE not peach! Although the season for yummy California peaches is coming and maybe you need a peach! 😛

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