As a writer with a day job, I have to make the time to write when I can.
I have found that mornings are great for writing, when I’m in that half-asleep daze, still connected to that subconscious dream-like state, the right side of my brain firing more than the left side. In the morning, I can get (some) writing done before my day begins. Writing in the morning is the best way for me to write every day.
But I’ve never been a morning person – especially in the winter. Especially during this particularly long, cruel winter – I have spent many mornings pulling the covers over my head to delay facing another day of snow and single-digit temperatures.
For these reasons, I haven’t been doing much morning-writing these past few months.
This is why weekends are when I get most of my writing done, particularly the Saturdays and Sundays in the dead of winter. Where summertime is filled with barbecues, bonfires and afternoons spent outdoors enjoying the sunshine and warmth, wintertime sees everyone disappear into hibernation for weeks at a time.
These quiet gray days are perfect for writing. For me, the weekend is when the world slows down. I can get lost in the world I’m creating and the characters I’m developing.
I typically have the house to myself as my husband works most weekends. So I can wake up on my own, read the newspaper and enjoy a cup or two of coffee, then fire up my laptop and start writing.
On a gray Saturday or Sunday, I lose track of time as the morning passes into afternoon. I am comfortable on the couch with the newspaper discards strewn around me, laptop in my lap, the keys clacking as I write or blog. I am under a blanket and a cat is curled up beside me, another napping at my feet.
I will break from writing to gather and start the laundry, run the vacuum and unload the dishwasher, and get the weekend chores out of the way. But I always return to the laptop, a book or three and a notebook and pen within arm’s reach. For me, that’s a perfect way to spend a Sunday (and Saturday too, if I’m lucky!)
This is why Mondays can be so difficult. I often find myself in a Monday morning fog with that eerie feeling where you arrive at your destination but don’t remember getting there. I go through the motions of turning on my computer and going about my tasks while my mind is still lingering over that last scene.
After spending two whole days with the freedom of going at my own pace, after two days of leisurely writing time, Monday means leaving my fictional world and returning to the Real World. It means a return to days with sleep interrupted by an alarm clock, coffee in a to-go mug, commuting and traffic and email and paperwork. It has nothing to do with the job itself and everything to do with its contrast to my writing life.
I can try to recreate my writing zone in the evening after the work day is done, squeezing in time between dinner and dishes and preparing for the next day, but I can’t get as easily lost in it as I do on the weekend. And so I must wait until the weekend comes around again.
So pardon me if I seem a little out of sorts on Mondays. You’ll have to excuse me for being a bit cranky and dazed on the first day of the work week. Though my feet are planted in this world, my head is still in another world entirely.
Do you dread or adore Mondays? Writers, how do you handle the transition from your writing world to your day job?
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This post was inspired by, Does Anyone Else Look Forward to Mondays? on the Live to Write, Write to Live Blog.