Weekend Writing and Why I Hate Mondays

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. Get Up

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. 

8 thoughts on “Weekend Writing and Why I Hate Mondays

  1. This is basically my life. Spend the weekends writing and go back to work on Monday feeling completely out of it, after having spent time away from the Real World. I try to get some writing done on weekday mornings before work actually starts, but it’s not the same as having the whole weekend free of distractions and other responsibilities.

  2. I don’t work but I do go to school. Sometimes I feel like I am never getting any time to read or write (which sucks!) because of school assignments.

    I try to squeeze in some writing in the middle of class as sneakily as possible. Sometimes this doesn’t work out, especially in classes with lots of notes, so when I’m on the bus I will make an attempt before my brain goes and makes me nausous. The only other time I can try writing is right before bed since my brain seems to be on hyperdrive right before I go to sleep. I’ve had plenty of sleepless nights on this account.

    I will admit that I mentally snickered at the minus single digit tempertures. Here in Winnipeg we are facing tempertures that are in the double digits, below -20 celcious, and sometimes colder than Mars! Add to that I bus and walk everywhere…single digits sounds like a vacation to me!

  3. Mondays are a relief after the family demands of weekends. But I know what you mean. You made me think, too, about how often writers (men?) advise that one let the housekeeping go. Doing some busywork like laundry to picking up the living room is almost a zen practice and can get me unblocked and back to my desk. Fascinating. Thanks for the link to the other blog, too!

  4. Pingback: Tips for re-focusing your creative efforts | The Outer Artist

  5. Hi Jennifer – I found you on a Bing search for the Anne Lamott quote about writing the truth (I think your post was dated January, but I’m not sure), liked what I saw and decided to have a look around. I’ll add your link to the “Blogs I Read” page on my website. After I read the above post I decided we’re kindred spirits—it’s early Saturday morning, my hubby is gone for the day (that means I have the whole day to write—the whole day!), and my cat is curled up in my lap. Add to that my fresh mug of coffee and life is good. 🙂 You’re fortunate that you have the weekends to work your craft. The toughest part for me has been pounding it into the heads of my family members that when I’m writing I’m working and don’t want to be interrupted. My husband gets it and is HUGELY supportive, but my kids have the attitude that “if Mom is home then she’s available to (fill in the blank).” They’ve been harder to train. lol At the end of the day, though, the simple truth is this: We make time for the things we want to do.

    P.S. We live in Georgia, but my oldest daughter went to college at SUNY New Paltz and earned her degree in English there. Love New York.

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