It’s been a tough week for Jenny the writer, mostly because it’s been a big week for Jenny the public speaking coach. I’ve led four days of presentation skills training in Monterrey, Mexico this week. I left for the job early on Sunday morning. I’ll be getting home Friday night. I’ve been working long days. I have a cold. And I’m tired.
I’m not as tired, of course, as J-Law‘s character in The Hunger Games. And the Panem I’m visiting happens to be a charming upscale panaderia in one of the nicest parts of Monterrey. I’ve loved working here this week. And I’m earning a nice paycheck for my efforts.
But I’m feeling haggard, nonetheless. And discouraged. When will I get this writing life thing right?
I was reading one of those encouraging self-helpy emails I get, scanning it with half-closed eyes last night before I fell asleep. The email’s writers suggested that we need rituals to get the important things done, their more soulful way of saying that we need habits or a schedule or structure. (So, like my mother always told me, just not quite as annoying.)
After this totally exhausting week, I’m not even sure what to say about that.
Without a doubt, I intended to get work done. I intended to wake up early and do some writing. I intended to come back to my hotel room and research submission opportunities.
That hasn’t happened. And it’s not because I’ve been slacking off, lying by the pool and sipping margaritas.
This has been one of the main challenges of my adult life, one I’m sure other writers do a better job of managing. My paying work has a way of upending my writing work. So I wonder, is a “ritual” of writing every day possible? Or is it akin to dieting–setting yourself up to become a disappointment and to feel like a failure?
But, optimist that I am, I still hope to salvage the week–on the long plane ride home tomorrow. Maybe writing on planes can be my ritual.