Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A Break and Returning to Routine

I've had a friend visiting from Scotland for half of last week and while I did very little work while she was here. It happens and is to be expected, better yet plan for it.

A break from your writing routine can be a good thing, but only if you remember to push back into it afterwards. Take advantage of the rest and change of scene and people and use the time away from your routine to stimulate your writing. It's easy to slide into being lax, so you must be ready to start back right as soon as possible after your break. 

A change of location is often good. I usually write in the kitchen, occasionally in waiting rooms or cafes. In the past, public transport was a good place for me to write, the monotony of the rhythm and the views if it's a regular trip, but also sense of movement and the flashes of scenery and people. I rarely go on buses now because I am reliant on the car to get the kids to their various venues, so a half hour of scribbling notes to the stop and start hum of the bus while I was heading into town to meet my friend was enough to stimulate my poetic juices which have been buried under fiction for the past few weeks.

I also get a burst of writing adrenaline from talking to new people or ones I haven't seen in a long time, even if it's not about writing. I've had four days of talking to people I haven't spent time with in months or even a year, visiting places I rarely go to. Along with the unusually warm, sunny weather the past week has been a wonderfully exciting change of pace.

So this morning was the disappointing drop back into stressful mornings of getting everyone to school. But after the kids are finally at their various schools, I return home to silence, breakfast, tea and my writing routine.

I should be outside, enjoying the gorgeous weather, I should be sorting out my allotment, I should be cleaning up the house after it's been ignored for four days, but I'm hiding from the birch pollen and writing in the kitchen. Sometimes I just have an hour or two, other days I have longer. I can choose whether to focus on poetry, fiction, submissions or research. I set the rhythm, but the routine is familiar and comforting.

I'll need to look into setting a new routine soon as the kids will be off school at the end of the month. We have a few weeks of summer camps and the littlest still in nursery, but after Juhannus, mid-summer, regular life shuts down in Finland for the slow summer crawl.

The kids will be home all day and I'll struggle to find time to write between finding things to entertain them and catering to their needs. My hope is I can get up relatively early with them and write while they eat and potter around on their screens. Then we can go out in the afternoon and have a quiet early evening at home where I might get a bit more done. We'll see how well it goes.

Enjoy the fantastic weather, if you're getting any, while it lasts. 

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