Monday, 7 June 2010

Shift, Shift

Apologies to everyone whose blog I've not visited of late: I'm in the process of overhauling my routine which had slipped into a blear of nothingness. Now I have only myself to crack a whip I'm finding it a struggle to do anything at all. And with Stevie working from home during the week I feel bereft of boundaries, the hours slide by unproductively. I seem to be asleep most of the time. But, now I think I've finally worked out a plan.

It's not entirely passed from theory into actuality yet, but it's getting there. I have always been a night person: I woke late, did wife/mother/house stuff, and started my own work after supper, carrying on till 2 or 3 or even 4am. That's no longer working so well. So, I have been training myself to go to bed early, and actually sleep, and get up early. So far 7am is the earliest I've managed, but the plan is to get into the habit of going to bed at 10 and get up at 6; write for four hours from 6.30 to 10.30, with a giant mug of tea for company; run for two hours; shower and dress; make coffee and read until the need to make supper surfaces. After supper, do internet things like blog. This will be Monday to Friday.

On Saturdays, starting last Saturday, I marshal at the family paintball site,* and on Sundays I clean the house. Hopefully once this new routine settles into itself I'll be less sluggardly and once again able to visit everyone's blogs regularly. At the moment I'm bouncing around like a ball with a nail in it.

Here are some picture from my first day as a paintball marshal:

wowers (as my niece used to call
them, which feels appropriate)

site transport,

splattered log,

squashed can,

customers at play.

Now, of course, it's way past my bedtime: I must become faster at writing posts or this will never work.

* I had nothing whatsoever to do with the construction of the paintball website, so please not to mention the apostrophe, et al, issues.


Kim Ayres said...

Has that idea of the paintball splattered wedding dress ever been tried out?

savannah said...

i love the idea of a routine, but somehow, it never seems to last long than the first day. *sigh* i think it's the way i work, or maybe the time of day/night i end up working. take yesterday, i was up at 5am and that was after saturday's birthday party! my internal clock needs a new battery. i hope y'alls schedule works! xoxoxo

Carole said...

Did you say run for two hours? Surely that was a misprint. You don't ever have to visit my blog and I will still visit yours forever if you run for two hours a day? Seriously?

Does run mean the same thing in Scotland as it does in the U.S.?

Alesa Warcan said...

Heya Eryl, nice to read from you. : j

You had warned us you were going to change posting/commenting rhythm, and you're at it again.
It sounds like a viable schedule, I hope it works out for you...

Oh hey! Running is great, but you might want to add something to your routine that promotes flexibility as well... And I don't mean just pre-run stretches. Have you ever tried yoga? My significant other is a regular practitioner and has benefited from it significantly, that and biking to to work.
It's essentially a series of different stretches you can learn and do at home.

One of my favorite bloggers only posts and comments on her blog (as far as I can see). Maybe if you're pressed for time that could work for you... : D

Kass said...

What a great routine. How in the world do you run for 2 hours?

Titus said...

Full of admiration. Routine. If only.
Love the log! In fact the four pictures taken together have the look of one of those "The Hills Have Eyes" civilised American college-kids get lost in back-country cannibal-land nightmares. Kind of.
Hope I don't put anyone off paint-balling...

Elizabeth said...

So good to keep in touch with you!
as my New York nieghbors would say.....
You seem wonderfully disciplined!
My son likes paintball. I have never tried it.
When I was a teacher I used to catch a train at 5:43 am
now I am a retired layabout
I get up at 6 am. take the dog out from 6:30 -8am
try to write 9-12
lunch then nap (VERY IMPORTANT!)
talk to husband who works at home
buy food and do domestic stuff
my vice is playing online solitaire(and smoking 3 cigarettes after supper!)
I bet you are thrilled to hear all this.

Good luck with your writing.
Please contact me privately about this.(elizabethwix@hotmail.com)


sort of a play on nursemaid?
All best

Pat said...

Sheila - my cleaner - was explaining paint balling to me the other day. Not my bag I decided.
Visiting blogs can get problematic if - like us - you like to return the compliment and support others.
Lots of people don't bother.
I try to be in bed by midnight or just after, because at this age one can't easily lie in, but day time snoozes are great.

I wish I could be as disciplined as you. I am about getting things done but not about a regular writing schedule.
Hope it works out well.

Anonymous said...

Discipline, routine, and all those people shooting each other on a Sunday. I think I need a good lie down.

Scarlet Blue said...

I have some wonderful routines - in theory... but now I have been distracted because I know that there is a picture of a paint splattered wedding dress on a pop star. Was it Annie Lennox? I will now spend as much time as it takes to find out. This is how routines fall apart!

The Pollinatrix said...

I love your photos.

I relate to your schedule issues. I was worried I would let myself slip into very late nights once summer started, but I'm happily surprised to say that hasn't happened. I guess I've finally trained myself to be a morning person. I definitely feel much better when I live this way.

red-handed said...

I could never write at night; I only make any damn sense in the morning.

p.s. Nicholson Baker has a book exclusively devoted to getting up very early to write.

Eryl Shields said...

Kim ~ if you want to come over and play one day just let me know.

Savannah ~ me too, and I'm hoping the idea translates to the material. So far it hasn't quite made it over, here I am on my blog at 18.55!

Carole ~ two hours, yes, though I have to own up that in the summer I don't actually leave the garden but run on the spot on a mini-trampoline. Too many tourists, all of a certain age, to bump into and injure on the streets at this time of year. Also, it took me a long time to build up to two hours, on my first attempt I thought both my lungs had collapsed after two minutes.

I didn't realise that you were blogging again, I will definitely be over in a tick!

Alesa ~ thank you, flexibility is something I should probably pay more attention to. I used to go to yoga classes but they were in a freezing cold hut and it became too miserable.

Kass ~ music is the key to running for me. At the moment I listen to two Radiohead albums: In Rainbows followed by Hail to the Thief, one is just over an hour the other just under and I love them so much I don't notice the time.

As I said to Carole, above, it took a long time to build up to that length of time, and I'm currently running only on the spot on a mini-trampoline, which is different to running on the road.

Titus ~ I haven't quite managed to implement it yet!

You're right it does suggest some sort of horror, and that could be added to I have pictures of blokes crawling through the woods and stalking the 'village' too. None of them, however, resemble American campus kids!

Back in a bit...

angryparsnip said...

I am with Carole...
I will keep reading you as long as you keep writing.
I love your pithy (love that word) comments but comment less for me and more time to write.
TWO hour run my heart attack is starting just reading that ... I use my pool for my walk and exercise but then there is always a big nap after ??? some days I just manage to feed the dogs and that is it ! woo hoo, good job !
cheers, parsnip

Eryl Shields said...

Elizabeth ~ no one who get up every morning at 6 can call themselves a layabout in my opinion! The routine I describe here is more of a concept than a fact, it's probably the result of a dream in which I was an actual writer rather than a woman who dreams she is a writer.

3 cigarettes after supper sounds deliciously decadent. My favourite part of the day is writing in my journal, at the kitchen table just before bed, when I allow myself one cigarette in the house. Otherwise I chuck myself out the backdoor, whatever the weather.

I will email you posthaste.

Pat ~ not my bag either, can't really see the appeal other than you get to run about the woods,, but you could do that anyway. I am glad boys like doing it, though, as it looks like it might start paying some of our bills!

I can't seem to discipline myself either, this is yet another attempt to do so. If it fails I'll have to get Stevie to tie me to the chair and disable the internet on my computer.

Jenny ~ it is a bit much, isn't it; I wonder if I'm having a mid-life crisis?

Scarlet ~ this is exactly how routines fall apart, this and your husband saying: 'd'you fancy popping out for lunch?' Did you find out who it was, I haven't a clue?

Polli ~ thanks. So, you have actually trained yourself to be a morning person? Great stuff, now I know it's possible I'll persevere.

Red ~ thanks for the book nudge, I will sneak onto Amazon later. Ted Hughes, in several of his letters, said the day was lost to him if he didn't begin writing by 6am at the latest, and I've heard a lot of writers say much the same. I must force myself to make a go of it.

Parsnip ~ pithy is a great word. I sometimes worry that I am pithy because I have nothing much to say though. I seem to be the only writer I know of who is exhorted to add to, rather than cut down, stories and poems.

You're a grandmumzilla now, you deserve a big nap! I love my two hour run, I listen to music and tell myself stories and can never believe my time is up.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Dare I say it - I almost envy your lack of scheduling - I am afraid that the farmer and I are such creatures of habit that we honestly can say - if it is 10pm it is horlicks - if it is 12.30 it is lunch - how boring can you get.

Eryl Shields said...

I like a framework to live by though, Weaver, and I think the more settled and comfy one gets in life the more likely one is to form habits like yours. It's years since I've had Horlicks, I loved it as a child, I might have to go out and get some!

A Cuban In London said...

Excellent plan and I hope it works out. I don't know whether I am night or day. All I know is that six hours (eight are better!) of rest is all I need.

Paintballing. Now, there's something I've never tried. :-)

Greetings from London.

Golden West said...

HI Eryl,

I laughed out loud at your disclaimer at the end of your post about the apostrophe - too funny. Working from home, I too am constantly trying to corral myself into a more productive schedule. Odd as it sounds, we are immersed in Christmas for the next 4 months, as all our stock needs to be produced and ready for sale by September. So now it is all glitter and tinsel all the time.

I'm looking forward to your coming dispatches from the front lines of a paintball business!

Eryl Shields said...

Cuban ~ I used to need eleven but now I can just about get by on eight.

If you ever find yourself in Scotland I'll give you a game!

Golden ~ glitter and tinsel must be much more effective when it's sunny, you must get to see it at its best!

I'm back out there on Saturday, so more paintball coming up soon!

Rachel Fox said...

I too am looking for a new routine. Now Mum has gone there is so much less to do in this house (she made a lot of mess, needed a lot of special shopping etc.). Not sure what to do with the time...

Eryl Shields said...

Your days must feel rather hollow at the moment, Rachel, a version of the 'empty nest' that doesn't really get discussed. You strike me as someone who is naturally extremely active what with your engagement with arts events, performance and your poetry. So I'm sure you'll find a new project to throw yourself into once this intense period of mourning has eased off. It must be bloody difficult for you at the moment though, I do feel for you, X