Are straightjackets ever on sale?

I’ve had this Fairy Tale Asylum idea for almost two years. No, not the blog, though that would be the medium.

I used the idea for the stories I wrote in 2010’s story-a-day challenge. The stories I eventually wanted to fit together–the stories of inmates of an asylum and the inmates had ended up committed (so to speak) through their fairy tale experiences. Wouldn’t you be slightly mad if you’d slept through 100 years or been left for dead in a glass coffin in the woods?

I can see the asylum in my mind and I know the name of the head nurse and the caretaker. Hmm. Maybe I should be in asylum.

Anyway. The problem is, as always, as I’m sure you experience yourself, is time. The devil of time.

I’m used to a particular work schedule and have for the last few years learned my best way to work around it, knowing that at certain moments, I’d have breaks to get things done if I could manage it during the semester.

Well, that schedule is changing, and I look at it and am filled with despair. How on earth am I ever going to write enough?

ever hopeful

Not only have 8 more hours been adding to my teaching week–taking up the time I used to use for planning/grading/etc (and adding to the amount of planning/grading/etc I have to do), but now three weeks have been added to my teaching year.

Three weeks doesn’t seem like much… This new schedule ends the week I had during winter break when the kiddo was in school but I wasn’t back at work. Sure, I’ll still have two weeks off, but the kiddo will be with me (and it is the husband busiest time of year so he’ll be working longer hours). I used to love that week to myself…

And the two week break between summer and fall terms has been taken off the calendar completely. No break at all between the summer and fall terms. We’ll be teaching from May until Thanksgiving without a day off. (Maybe the 4th of July if it falls on a week day–and my son will be off too though the husband will be working.) If you teach, you know that isn’t just time in the classroom. That’s one weekend between terms to grade final exams and papers, to turn grades in for all my students, and to prepare for the new term.

I look at the upcoming year and see piles of school work, plus the endless housework, plus the needs of my family, plus my own hopes for writing and art… (let’s not mention the projects/ides I’m trying to work on right now)

I’m not in a good mood about it.

How do you find time for your goals, your creative life? What do you sacrifice for it? How do you maintain the energy you need?

And if you know of any good deals on straightjackets, let me know.

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5 responses to “Are straightjackets ever on sale?

  1. I’m in a position which must — in respect to time — seem heavenly to you. But it’s at the expense of saying, “No kids. Just one dog.” Depending on your perspective, this is kind of a mixed blessing.

    Fwiw, though, I get up early enough — and go to bed early enough — to squeeze in somewhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours of work on weekday mornings. Saturdays, I sleep in just a little, but work for 4+ hours. (Sundays I’m “off.”) This works, sorta kinda, but I’m almost always tired. (A night’s sleep for me averages 6 hours. I really need 7 or 8.)

    When the book is “done,” I don’t know what I’ll do. Guess I can take a week or so off the early-rising schedule. But I’m reluctant to bag it altogether ’cause I can see myself slipping sooooo easily into a no-time-at-all-for-writing existence.

  2. Well, it’s true that my son is the best person in my life and I wouldn’t trade him for an endless number of bestselling novels.

    But that doesn’t quell my anxiety over time.

    I get 5 to 6 hours of sleep…and need more. Isn’t it hard to write when tired? I find it almost unbearable.

    Don’t slip into the no-time-for-writing existence. Don’t make us come and drag you out.

    • It IS almost unbearable. The worst moment for me, actually, isn’t the one when I sit down and first open the word processor to a blank screen; it’s the one when the alarm goes off. At that instant, the only thing that makes me swing my legs out of bed is force of habit. (It’s like the old days, when getting out of bed to go to work had the same effect, with the same result and for the same reason.)

      About 5 seconds later, I start to get excited (for lack of a better word) about that blank screen… That never happened when I knew I’d be heading more or less straight to the day job.

  3. For me, time for writing varies completely based on my bipolar mood cycles. I’ve tried to fight it all my life, but that’s just how it is and I have to accept it. I take great advantage of the sleepless highs, and keep teeny, tiny notes during the lows. I’ve never been able to write according the regular schedules I always thought you were “supposed” to.

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