Struggling With Stamina

I skipped a week (or is it two) on writing on my blog. I don’t feel guilty. I don’t have a dedicated following, yet. And those who are following already love me. 

Plus, the reason I haven’t posted on schedule is because I have been busy with paid work (yay!) and also with a play I am in. I am really happy with where I am: my schedule works well around my kids school and my husband’s work, I m really enjoying the  work, I feel fulfilled, and I am getting paid to do all of it. 

 The struggle I am really having with my writing, my paid work and my just for me work, is stamina. Sometimes it’s creative stamina, sometimes it’s writing stamina, but usually it’s eye brain stamina (you know, the organ most exhausted by staring at little characters a screen for hours on end). 

By 1pm and sometimes as early as 11am I am fried. One to three hours is a lot of work I don’t get done. And the hours immediately before are less quality.

I also have a tendency to skip lunch because I am immersed in my work. Not eating makes me downright loopy and irritable so that even driving to pick up my kids at 2:40pm was in a daze. 

So I took the advice of many Reader’s Digest articles and soft blog posts I have come across over the years, and I scheduled breaks…and I eat. My phone goes off at 9:45am to “Take a break, dummy!” and 12:00 pm to “Eat lunch and take a break, dummy!” I have to remind myself that it’s stupid to not to these breaks. 

I have come to really enjoy my morning break. I live just outside of the city so that it feels like the country, but I am within a few minutes of the coffee shop…and other important establishments. So at least once a week, currently, I walk around outside and collect flowers for my writing table. As fall steals the blooms, I will collect beautiful leaves and then transition into juniper fronds. 

When my flowers are still fresh, I find mini projects. I dug out and reset my fire pit one week. I made a hummingbird  feeder out of plasticware and a bottle so my little friend who visits occasionally will feel welcome to stay longer. 

Sometimes I prepare dinner or do chores, but that can get my domestic side going. It’s hard to break free from the chain of seeing things that need to be done in the house. Plus, that monster demands attention because it is “actually important.”

I have found the most pleasant and profitable break activities are those that contribute to me and/or my writing. Whether through beautifying my writing space, giving me another creative outlet, or giving me something to accomplish, these activities allow me to limit myself to 15 minutes and quickly return my brain to work. 

I still start to punk out around 1, but my work is much better quality and I feel better afterwards. And even though I can’t look at a screen to write or edit, I have other activities I can do for my writing, like brainstorming, making calls, studying a style guide, etc. My eye brain still has some juice (that is a beautifully gross image, is it not?).

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