Wednesday, September 4, 2013

And How Do I Do So Much?

I had a completely different post planned for today but after reading Marilyn's yesterday, I got to thinking about the topic.  People often ask me how I get so much done which interestingly, sends me into a tailspin of guilt and self-doubt because to me, I'm not getting nearly as much done as I would like.

To wit:  I have a book due October 1.  I'm only 3/4 of the way done and regrettably, have decided to change direction.  (For the better, I might add.) I also have many day job projects, a conference to attend, and a house to keep up, lest the bad guys (the dust bunnies) win.

So what will I do?

I face this dilemma every several months or so.  This year, when day job was quiet, I had the good sense to write a new manuscript (a young adult book about which I am awaiting word on its fate), and to start the second book in the Maeve Conlon series, the book with the aforementioned October 1st deadline. But there always comes a time when there is too much to do and too little time left and it feels like the night before my Econ final in freshman year of college, the one for which I had lost my textbook and for which I had no idea whatsoever would be about, other than the broad topic of macro-Economics.  (I did poorly, to say the least.)  There are weekend writing sessions involved, some crying, overflowing laundry baskets, and take-out dinners more nights than not.  There are middle-of-the-night epiphanies (and some more tears) and long, drawn-out phone calls--time that could be spent writing--where I bemoan the fact that once again, I will miss my deadline, something that has never happened in my almost decade-long writing career but which always looms large in my perfectionist brain.

I, like Marilyn, go to bed early, so mornings are the best time for me to tackle the to-do list.  But inevitably, something happens that takes a perfectly organized day and turns it on its ear.  A forgotten lunch that needs to be delivered.  A vomiting dog.  A broken appliance. Or sheer exhaustion.  They all take their toll and serve as disturbances timed perfectly to coincide with my most stressful work period.

All this to say:  I'll get it done.  I always do.  And when it's over and the book is turned in and the day job work is going swimmingly, everyone doing what they are supposed to be doing and on time, I will do the laundry once a day and cook nutritious meals and exercise in the morning.

Until I get the revisions.  And then the crying starts again.

Maggie Barbieri


  1. Laughing through tears of recognition, Maggie!

  2. I call it the "someday syndrome." As in someday, I'll get up and early and do the ten things I want to do, which somehow don't get done on at a time. Bless you, Maggie, for the pain doesn't show in your and your compatriots' work.

  3. Like Linda, I recognize this all too well, Maggie.

    Currently, I'm in the crying phase...