Hello there, friends. It feels like a while since we’ve had a good chat. How about we have one today?
If you’re a long-time reader, I’m sure you’ve noticed something’s changed around here. I moved from blogging three times a week to twice a week back in February, a change in a six-year-plus schedule that was a long time coming. (If you’ve read here since the early days, when I blogged five times a week, wow. Thanks for sticking around.)
When I returned from my annual July blog hiatus last year, something was off. I didn’t feel refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things. I started to wonder if after almost seven years of blogging I’d said all that was in me to say. But I didn’t want to make any rash decisions about something I’d enjoyed (and benefited from) for so long. I continued on, thinking I might reassess over the holidays. I asked a few friends their opinions (I like your blog a lot, one said, but you get to decide if you want to change things). I didn’t want to give it up entirely. I knew that. But how I was going to continue remained unclear.
Then, out of the blue at the end of January, I was offered a temporary part-time job. I wasn’t looking for extra work. It’s something that found me, that felt challenging but right for a season. Suddenly 15-20 hours of my week belonged to five young someones. I had a lot of fine tuning I needed to do — and a big piece of that was my writing life.
My regular writing day, which usually runs somewhere in the range of 10am to 4pm, now ended before one. Much like when I’m on deadline, I had to get serious about using my time well. I applied what I learned last fall from the books Deep Work and The Practicing Mind, trusting I could write in short, intense morning sessions, that any effort would build stamina and lead to growth (and eventually a book). Bird by bird, as Anne Lamott would say.
Blogging was reserved for the weekends.
I cannot tell you how the decision to move from three blogging days a week to two has freed me up and reignited my interest in writing in this space. Tuesdays and Fridays are the days I run new posts (a schedule you can expect most of the time — unless another day is occasionally a better fit. See? I get to decide. Wild and free!)
As a blog reader, I’ve gotten into the habit of only reading ones that show up in my inbox (unless you count this one I’ve been faithfully reading for the last five years, which is always guaranteed to make me laugh). If you’d like my posts delivered to you, simply enter your address in the “subscribe to the blog” box there on the right. Quick and easy and no Internet searching required.
As for my book writing these last few months, I started researching something new the week before I took that job. I told you a bit about it at the beginning of June, And I’m happy to say I sent it to my agent — who loved it! — last week, four days before wrapping up my part-time work.
I’m not going to lie. The last five months have at times been really hard. I know for writers with full-time jobs, my shortened writing day still sounds like a dream. For me it was a drastic change, and any change to what you’re used to is challenging. But I’m here to tell you it’s possible to work with the time you’re given to move forward — bit by bit — in whatever it is you’re trying to do.
Here’s to stepping into whatever’s ahead, whether you chose it for yourself or not. Whether things are new or entirely the same. To unexpected challenges and everyday living. To the all gifts we find in the midst.