Monday, February 21, 2011

Squeee! It's a Moleskine - Writing and Schedules

I am a schedule fetishist. I adore all kinds of planners and I have owned, at the same time, several competing brands of Modular Planning Paper Devices (Day Runner, Filofax AND Franklin Covey.) I covet Moleskine and Rhodia planners like other girls covet designer handbags. Nothing gives me greater joy than planning out, to the half hour if possible, how my day is going to shape up.

It never goes the way I plan, of course. I know that and am not surprised when at the end of the day only 2 of 20 items are checked off and several others have arrows (add to tomorrow's list) and question marks (what the hell was this again?) next to them. Amazingly, I don't get upset about what I don't accomplish (you know, except when it involves paying the power bill and such.) My schedules are not about finishing but about process. I know that the stuff that needs to happen will and the stuff that I think needs to happen but really is just me paying lip service to something, those suckers will fall to the way side. I have faith that the plan is the plan only until it isn't and that's ok. I am open (way the fuck open) to improvisation.

Today I was supposed to wake up at 6 and write for an hour. I was preempted by my two year old waking up at 4 with a raging ear infection and cough. I was supposed to write in the hour that she usually takes a nap AND I was supposed to treadmill for a half hour after they went to bed. She refused to take a nap but I did sun salutations while she watched Cat in the Hat and then burned off probably 10,000 calories ice skating with my oldest daughter's daisy troop. I didn't write today, but while putting my youngest to sleep, nearly falling asleep myself in the rocking chair, I realized an important scene that my WIP needed - I wasn't trying to work on it, I didn't schedule any 'thinking time' I just dozed a bit and realized that on the way to the City, Fin had to see the fields and towns around BookEnd deserted, destroyed, the people fleeing. I realized to NOT have this in there would make the rest of the end of the book not as strong. I'm feeling smugly satisfied that I figured that out, though it was literally a sleepy-time muse whispering in my ear.

So, what do you schedule, how closely to you adhere to that schedule and how do you deal with real life?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. You certainly have put me to shame in what I once thought was a "busy" life. But hey, it's all relative and all perception, right? (My six year old niece recently told me she was "stressed" because she's "SO busy...")
    I'd like to think I'm organized and schedule oriented, but I'm not really. However, I am a list maker, like you. I make lists, mostly for self validation. Check, check, check. That little tick mark – "done"... there's nothing more satisfying. Have you seen It's an iphone app "to do" list. Even if you don't use an iphone, it's still worth a look. Simple and well designed, without being overly designy.

  3. Correction! Teux Deaux is not only an iphone app, but also an online to-do list.

  4. I, too, enjoy scheduling. The past couple of days I've been slumming in depression land. No particular reason has surfaced for analysis. The lack of motivation left me disinterested in writing my blog and reading and commenting on blogs. My writing class critiques were pushed off until 12 last night. What a mess.

    Yesterday I made a list of about 9 things I wanted to accomplish by the end of the day. I only made it to one. Today fared much better. I keep my lists and just transfer what ever wasn't done to the next day. This way I don't feel bad about slacking.


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