Not like, My Mom is Better than Your Mom (though she is). Like, My mom is PERFECT.
You have to know her very, very well to see her flaws.
So when I say she both didn’t do a very good job of teaching me how to be an adult and she also taught me everything I need to know about being an adult, you’ll know I’m not biased.
She was and is a great example. I was a senior in high school before I realized what my mom did every day. She went back to work that year and most of what she had been doing either didn’t get done or was done by me.
My mom taught me everything from how to fix a running toilet to how to run a load of whites. What I know about cooking, cleaning, and housework, I largely learned from her. She made me do it, early and often, and I appreciate the lesson.
One thing she didn’t teach me was HOW. How she kept a perfect household when she was there. How she maintained a nearly-perfect household when she wasn’t there. How she got up every day and did the things.
I was in my thirties before I realized the truth. When she finally told me the secret:
She had to learn how to do it.
The answer to HOW was both super simple and completely complicated.
I guess that’s what’s going on here. Learning. It’s a struggle, and it’s painful, but if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s learning.
What are you learning to do this summer? How are your struggles interwoven with your successes?
This week we add another task to our daily list. It would have been apropos a couple of weeks ago, but it fits here too. It is this: ACCEPT IMPERFECTION. This is not a perfect system and you are not a perfect person. We will, from time to time, get off track and have to start again. Whether you begin at the beginning or jump back in where you left off is your choice. The point is to keep going.
Again, the list of things we should be doing every day or every writing day:
MORNING PAGES TRACK PROGRESS PREP FOR YOUR NEXT WRITING SESSION ACCEPT IMPERFECTION
This week we’re going to do a lot of writing. It’s getting more intense. See what you can make of this:
By this week, we should be doing three things on a daily basis:
Morning Pages Tracking Prepping for next week
This last one is going to depend largely on how much writing time you have. Do you need to prep a week in advance? Or only a day? The point is you never sit down to write without knowing what you’re writing, whether that’s MORNING PAGES, your current work in progress (WIP), or a job you’ve been hired to do.
This week we’re going to do a lot of writing, so I would start by prepping your sessions for this current week.
Here’s the schedule:
DAY 1: WRITE 20 min.
DAY 2: WRITE 20 min.
DAY 3: REST
DAY 4: RESEARCH
DAY 5: WRITE 20 min.
DAY 6: WRITE 25 min
DAY 7: WRITE 25 min.
As you can see, we’re upping our writing days and our writing times. Even if you’re resetting like me, I encourage you to follow this schedule. It’s easier to jump right back in than start over, but don’t let that stop you from starting over if you need to.
In other words, if your space has become a mess or your tracking system is off, feel free to take a step back and reassess those areas first. Still doing MORNING PAGES? That’s another place to start over.
This week I want to focus on diving back into where we left off. If you didn’t do MORNING PAGES today, do them now. Write your 20 minutes now. Do whatever it is you need to do in the time you have now. After all, it’s all we’re guaranteed.
For those of you keeping up, I’ve missed a couple weeks.
Not that I wish this on anyone, but we all know real life interrupts writing life from time to time.
This one has been bad. The equivalent, I imagine, of falling off a horse into the dust.
Two decisions involved:
getting out of the dust
getting back on the horse
So that’s what we’re gonna do here:
Make a decision.
Lift our face from the dust.
Take a deep breath.
Take a moment.
Make another decision.
Then we get back on the motherfucking horse.
Next week I’ll be back with week three’s writing routine. If you’ve had to start over, like me. Don’t worry. You can do it. We all can. It’s been my pleasure to be on this journey with you and to share my struggle. I’m glad we are in this together.
How did it go? Did you make progress? What does your TRACKING system show? How many days did you get those MORNING PAGES done?
It doesn’t matter what your answers are, it matters that you’re doing this.
Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Sometimes it’s soldiering on through the heartbreak.
So let’s get started on WEEK 2. Get ready to level up.
First, we’re going to add to our DAILY tasks. MORNING PAGES TRACKING
That’s right. Now you’re going to begin your writing time with MORNING PAGES and end it with TRACKING. Each writing session should begin with getting your thoughts out and end with what you have accomplished.
This week we’re going to start out WRITING:
DAY ONE: WRITE 15
DAY TWO: WRITE 20
DAY THREE: WRITE 15
DAY FOUR: WRITE 20
DAY FIVE: REST (you still get to do morning pages and tracking :))
DAY SIX: PREP for next week. Get ready; this is our next daily task. Again, if you’re following the weekly plan, I’ve already done this for you, but you’re still responsible for your schedule.
DAY SEVEN: RESEARCH. Make a list of all the questions that have come up in your writing . That’s all. Just make the list. We’ll spend more time on it next week.
Not too bad, huh? I bet you made it just fine. What else can you do this week?
Let me know how it’s going for you. See you next week.