How do you cope when your routine is interrupted?

It’s the end of school holidays, and I’ve managed to get very little done in terms of writing-career progression or children-fun time progression. It would make complete sense to work towards accomplishing small goals in each area: an hour in the morning for work then an hour to the kids, a morning for work, an afternoon for the kids. It seems so simple!

We’ve all heard of the buddy system, but have you heard of the bud-i system?

When you go to a theme park and you want to go on a roller coaster, you grab your buddy, you egg each other on, and you keep an eye on each other so that you won’t get lost. When you get off, you’ve had your ups and downs, but you feel like you’ve done something. Gotten somewhere. This is what writing is like for me when I’m following my routine.

But with the bud-i system, my routine has been interrupted. It’s very much like going on those nauseating tea cup rides. I would come on with you, but I just ate a hot dog, but I like to keep my lunch down, but I  find it really rude placing my butt in crockery that a giant might have to drink out of one day.

Whatever the reason, with the bud-i system, you feel you are going nowhere, stuck on loop, feeling sick when it seems it will never end.

I have to work, but I have to spend time with the kids.

I have to spend time with the kids, but I have to work.

I have to work, but I feel guilty about not spending time with the kids.

So what do I do? I get stuck on loop and get neither done. And at the end of the day, I’m unfulfilled and nowhere closer to my goals, feeling sick about it and cranky. Which starts another loop led by But’s friend, Because.

I’m cranky and depressed because I didn’t write.

I didn’t write because I was cranky and depressed.

When the kids go back to school, I have to be wary of a new bud-i loop that’s been getting a little too cosy with my consciousness. That’s another thing, when I’m worrying about all the things not getting done, without getting them done, I have too much time to think.

I have to write today, but I have to get those agent queries started.

I have to get those queries done, but I have research to do.

I have research to do, but I have to write today.

They are all excuses; they are all crutches.

I wrote a post a few months back talking about how if I was going to take time off writing, I was going to make the most of that time. And that’s what I should have done.

Maybe I need a buddy to drag me back to the roller coaster.

How do you cope when your routine is interrupted? Hopefully, better than me 🙂




7 thoughts on “How do you cope when your routine is interrupted?

  1. Don’t fret. All writers go through this. If you can believe it, I even feel guilty about not playing with the dog. I strive to write every day but sometimes I don’t. Try to make an easy goal like 100 words a day or 500 words a week. You feel good when you meet a goal. You can do that for agent queries as well. Allot yourself a certain amount of time to do it, a half hour or whatever you have available. Maybe mix it up; one day for agent querying, one for research, two for writing, and one day off. I always keep weekends free for family stuff. This is just some ideas. Do what works for you.

    • I think that’s what I have to do: be realistic about my goals. I write about it all the time on blogs, but find myself failing when it comes acting out this plan. I was thinking about planning my day in blocks of hours, where I do a little of everything, but I think I like your idea better where I tackle one avenue a day. I find it helps to keep the weekends free, also, although I want to start at least writing my blogs then 🙂

  2. When it came to this school holidays I prepared BEFORE they started, something I hadn’t done previously. I have a routine I follow every school day and changed this during the holidays but still scheduled in writing time. I set a 10K challenge weeks before the holidays, blogged about it to keep me motivate and when I reach my daily goal it feels really good. It’s all about finding balance. I am such an unorganized person that I have to plan everything or nothing gets done. So before the holidays started I planned, planned, planned.

    • I have been wanting to write this blog all week and your blog prompted me to 🙂 I was impressed with how you stuck to your plan. I could throw out all the excuses in the world, but in the end, I find myself settling into the holidays too easily…There was one day where I did an hour of researching agents and boy did it put me in a good mood! Yes, I have to plan and maybe track it like you do. I’ll just have to be upfront with the kids and set aside time: I’ll play with you in an hour if you can just play on your own for an hour etc. Next holidays are six weeks long. If I don’t sort myself out and plan by then, I’m going to get myself in a right old state :S

      • Yes, the six week holidays are way to long not to have a plan in place, especially after Christmas when everything settles down. If you can carve out just an hour a day it makes all the difference. I put a movie on for my kids and then write. I prefer to write in the morning, so they can watch TV while I write and then spend the rest of the day in the backyard or going out somewhere.

      • The morning plan sounds great. I also write in the mornings and it’s also the time when the kids are happiest to entertain themselves. Thanks 🙂

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