125. Strategic Habits

Worked all day on putting shelves, assembling Jay’s bed, shopping baby-stuff, plus normal house-chores, shopping, cooking, dishing. This should have been a day I just muddled through and forgot about but … it went better than expected. And I think I know why.

It’s because I accept it.

I accept that these days are going to be the norm for the foreseeable future, esp. while I fight to make money. And while Char is out of the job.

So if I’m not doing stuff on the home front – baby-stuff, or cleaning and cooking when I need to support Char – then I’m out there: Working my ass off to earn the daily bread.

Just had a look at my accounts and debts and … while the perspective is not disastrous, it’s not particularly positive either. Seen in isolation, as they should. I don’t want to chip away at Char’s inheritance just to be able to afford food. That’s what’s going to get us into a larger living space in two years or three, enough for a down-payment at least.

But my contribution is not currently anything to write home about – about 4000 USD last month which is fine, but will drop to half the next two months or lower, mostly because I’ve not looked for more customers, while waiting for Jay. And because I pay my own child-leave as a company-owner. No insurance there. Or rights.

Still don’t regret that choice. It’s important that I’m focused on being there while the going is tough for Char, which means up to, during and right after the birth – if all goes as statistics will. But then I have to make a shift, rather harshly sometime in late May, early June, going full throttle out there and finding new customers.

It’s worth hoping that Jay is all right and sleeps relatively well during those summer nights, but … well, who knows.

I think I can do this timing. I think I can ice my stomach enough for it. And I know selling time is not the answer in the long run, only building assets. But I can feel I have to use all my resources, all my experience, all my confidence, to not fret about this … uncertainty about everything.

What will happen once Jay is here? How hard will it be? How much energy will I have to  make money, soon being the only breadwinner in the house, Char just having her insurance (although for 2 years+)?

I have to remember how much I survived so far and how bad everything could be if it was really bad, in order not to fret. And so I will. I will remind myself every so often to Stay Calm.

It’s the only way.

Like creating assets.

Speaking of which, I’m into a habit now of writing 500 words min per day on The Story. Been there before, but this time it feels as if it sticks.

Only time will tell if it does, of course, but my feeling is positive.

Aside from going Terminator on any other time-use, esp. in front of screen, than webdesign-work and writing, I’m constantly asking myself the question I read on a writer’s blog: Do I want this enough? And another question: ‘Would I be better off writing now?’

But I won’t write all the time I can. I will write consistently.

I will use the Hemingway-method (or so I’ve read): Don’t finish what you like to write. Stop and save some for the next day.

That’s why only 500 words.

Of course, it often becomes more, but that is the number I’m fixed on. 500 words and some coherent scene that ends on a high note and makes not only the reader – so I hope – but also myself want the next note, the next scene, the next event.

So when say to myself: ‘Wouldn’t I be better off writing?’ and if I have already written, I try to change it to a focus on what that scene should be like the next time I carve out that 15 min space to do it.

Then I know I can put the energy of all the day, while cooking, dish-washing, commuting, baby-working and all sorts of other working … I can put all the dreaming, imagining, and yearning for storytelling that particular part of the larger story right down into a scene when I am allowed to.

Kind of like sex. You hold back orgasm for a week or two and then, well, it get’s better doesn’t it when you finally go for it.

That old trick.

You could ask of course, why not write every moment I can? Well, I don’t want to fight for time. I know it is always possible to do 500 words per day, or I feel I know it. Even if the world is on the brink. Or something.

So that is enough.

And it should be, because soon – very soon – my time and energy will be so limited. So more limited than now.

Tonight for example, after all the house-stuff, I only have cooking left because Char is too tired to do anything more. I could do that and then write 3 hours and go to bed and get up and go to Client tomorrow.

But I won’t.

I write this, then cook, then go to bed early and get up fresher. Maybe do those blitzing 15-20 min writing with all my heart on the commute, getting down the next part of the Story.

Because soon that’s all I can do, and I might as well prep.

Sounds crazy? Sounds like I’m overzealous or overly nervous?

That may be true. We’ll let events decide, though.

I’ll write about this again in a month, if not before, and we’ll see if I was right and if this strategy serves me.

The ultimate test is if I can keep up motivated productivity – 15000 words – for 30 days and beyond, even through child birth and a thousand upheavals.

I think I can.

And now I have to go cooking.