But I think I may have found the answer
The other evening I was in bed with my iPad in front of me. If I take it to bed with me when I go at 6pm, which is not often, it’s because I’m playing a game or listening to my audio book, or more often than not both. This is my downtime.
Suddenly I felt the urge to write. This is what I wrote. I have not touched it since I wrote it, which means it has not been edited at all, so please forgive typos etc.
‘I do my best work at night. At least I would do. I am writing this at 8.30 pm but I know that my body will shut down. I will be eating supper soon then my body will say that’s it for your day, I’m stopping now. We’re eating a bit later tonight, which is how I’m managing write this. Normally it’s 7.30. I have my iPad in front of me again, unusual. My brain whirs but I can’t do the work. Hence when I’m tired in the mornings all the ideas have gone’
I knew I didn’t have much time, because supper was looming but it’s what came flowing out of my head at that particular moment.
I am showing you this (when I would normally delete it in disgust!) because it suddenly gave me an insight into my world. By this I mean it showed me a good reason why I procrastinate so much.
Because of my disability I have an absolutely relentless daily routine which never varies (https://wp.me/pbV5wy-ca) . This means I have six or seven hours during the day to do things. Since lockdown those hours have been all mine. At first I quite enjoyed the extra time and vowed I would use it to practice my writing skills, do some marketing, do more reading.
Well, I have read a lot about blogging and a lot about marketing. I have read other blogs, and newsletters, and I’ve read my book. But the only writing I did was to comment on blog posts. Major procrastination set in. Again.
A ‘Eureka’ moment
After I had the urgent need to write something in bed, it suddenly occurred to me that, of course, I was organising my days the wrong way round. I use the hours in the day to draft and publish my blog posts. What I should be doing, of course, is writing when I go to bed which is when all my best ideas come. If my body is too tired I could dictate ideas to my phone.
Then I can take time the next day to read my draft, edit it and all the other things you have to do, and then publish the day after.
That way I can spend the daytime under less pressure. I can read as many articles as I want, learn marketing, take a break at lunchtime, instead of looking at a blank page and not being able to think of a single word to put on it, or, even worse, racing against time to publish before bedtime.
I need to write more, I’m desperate to write more. Maybe changing things round to write at my best time of day will help me.
My Second Struggle
The second thing I struggle with is a writing space. I don’t have one. I live in a small house with a living room and kitchen, and two bedrooms and a bathroom. I have one bedroom, Mr. C has the other, so we have no spare space. I have no personal space.
I can’t write in my bedroom because it is so full of medical equipment and storage for my meds and other things related to my disability, there simply is no room.
I could write in the kitchen, and I do, but it’s not my space, it’s Mr C’s space since he does all the cooking, washing and other kitchen related things.
So I write in the living room, which is light and airy, a pleasant space. But it’s not a personal space.
Not having a personal space usually means I am constantly interrupted and distracted.
In his book ‘On Writing’ Stephen King says:
‘take your story through at least two drafts; the one you do with the study door closed and the one you do with it open. With the door shut, downloading what’s in my head directly to the page, I write as fast as I can and still remain comfortable’.Stephen King – On Writing
To me, that’s a perfect description of how I feel writing in bed. I cannot imagine why I have never thought of this before since I spend more time in bed than I do in my chair.
Because we are conditioned from a very young age to regard ‘bedtime’ as the end of our day I think I regard going to bed at 6pm as the end of my day. But why should it be? I could write for a couple of hours then settle down for a normal evening, eating and watching tv.
So, another reason to blog after I’m in bed, hopefully, longer without interruption. And I can shut the door!