I Need a Monday

It has been a weekend of constant distraction and I've not been able to write even one word. My plan was to write all weekend as I did last week, but it just wasn't in the cards. I guess I'll claim my weekend tomorrow. No business dealings, no Alla Breve emails, no business-related phone calls. I really don't want to lose the momentum I'd built up, although this weekend I watched it recede with an alarming velocity. Best to call it back before it's completely washed out to sea.

It wasn't only work that kept jumping my creativity queue, it was putting out fires, worry, and a crushing three-day toothache. Vanilla swabs, Ibuprofen, and caramel Bailey's in my morning coffee and bedtime hot milk took care of the toothache and the worry, but it didn't address the fires. And now I'm out of Bailey's with no date in sight that I can get more...

It's not easy being freelancer and an author; in fact, I got a lot more writing done when I worked the 8-to-5. Generally speaking, my distractions are of the within variety, not things hitting me from without (this weekend has been made of both), which I've learned to manage by, as this article explains, holding meetings with myself.

When I worked in the high-corp world, especially when I was the executive assistant to the vice-CEO of a NASA corporation, I learned the value of regularly held meetings. But my boss held back-to-back meetings all damned day, thus eating up my time with creating Excel spreadsheets, running upstairs to rip them off of the huge Calcomp printer, then running back downstairs to mount them on the wall of his conference room. Hour. After. Hour. Taking care of 12 departmental checkbooks, requisitioning tools and parts, and performing secretarial tasks for his departmental heads had to be sandwiched in between my jogs up and down stairs. It's no wonder that I won an unofficial poll as "Best Legs in the Company" and that I brought home huge paychecks that included three or four hours of overtime every day. Those checks helped me pay for that penthouse with the view of the Pacific, which I seldom saw because I never came home until well after dark. That job taught me the frustration of redundancy and meeting overkill. I used to joke with my boss that he and his heads must be Baptists, who are famous for holding meetings to schedule meetings.

These days I hold a meeting with myself about once a week, usually on Sunday night. I put on music, pour a cup of tea (or a Bailey's au lait—Ole!), and sit with Notepad, making notes about what I need to get done throughout the week which I then copy onto a desktop Post-It. Unplanned distractions can interrupt my flow; little emergencies arise which my clients believe their site cannot survive over the course of a day, an hour, or even the next few minutes.

But tonight there will be no Bailey's. Guess I'd better get to that meeting now while there's still coffee in the pot and enough Sunday left to actually get a few pages written.

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