Even when my kids aren’t at home, I find it almost impossible to get any quality focused work done there. There is laundry to be done, clutter to de-clutter, snack food to munch on, and six partially-read books and a couple of unwatched DVDs scattered everywhere. That the books and DVDs are high quality and worth the time it will take to (eventually) sit down and process them isn’t really relevant to the reality that if I do that, I’m not doing what I’m needing to do and what I’ve verbally contracted to do for some fairly wonderful people who think I have enough firing brain cell cylinders that they want me to write a book.
I learned years ago that it’s pointless (for me, at least) to start with an existing deeply ingrained pattern and try to shift a few elements to make it do something else. Doesn’t work for me. What I need to do is ditch the pattern entirely and create a new one.
So now that the children are in summer camp, my pattern is to drop them off and drive immediately to the local public library with my computer, where I can set up and get a good 2-3 hours pure writing time in before lunch. Then I can drive to my regular office (where it is also impossible to get quality focused work done) and work for the afternoon there. Life is quiet enough in the summer months that the last thing they need is me at a desk for 8 hours; 4 is quite sufficient, thank you, and I can answer emails during the morning as needed.
The plan isn’t foolproof. There’s still the tendency to futz and blog-write while at the computer at the library. (Ahem. Current post as case in point.) And the twin tendency when I hit a momentary writer’s block to click that happy little “Facebook” link at the top of my computer screen. But this is now day 2, and yesterday I got a good 6 pages done. I may be able to finish the first half of the first (of 10) big section this morning, which isn’t half bad considering I have till the end of this month to even send them a chapter and outline (I’ll send them 6) and till the end of August to finish the first draft. I can live with that.
I want a home office. I bet I could do this at home if my “workspace” weren’t the family room couch with a computer on my lap. Comfy, but impractical…