A Writer's Juggling Act...


Normally, I'm good at organizing my days... but lately, not so much.

I've got so many project pots sitting on back burners, it's difficult to know a) what to write on next, and b) how to schedule my days that c) I don't run into total exhaustion.

Exhaustion won at the end of last week, and it's still weighing heavily on me this week, but I know I have to push through. No, I'm not going crazy with work. It's just that I have so much of it that needs doing.

  • finish self-edits for my Pearl Harbor literary epic, AIR
  • continue draft on a new animal adventure tale
  • continue draft on a new genre series
  • start draft on a new How-To

And mixed in with all that is social media posting, never mind any articles I have half-crafted for my Medium Books by B.J. Thompson website. 

And the cherry on top of this iced cake is that Calgary is in the middle of a mini heat wave... again. This town seamlessly shuffles from Arctic cold blasts to Mohave desert heat waves. I'll have you know I've been to many tropical places in my time, but never has the Triad of Hellish Heat — a mix of no pollution, high elevation and low humidity — ever been as severe as living in Calgary. 

  • You don't tan here, you burn. 
  • You don't enjoy the outside weather, it suffocates you. 
  • And I've lived here for over three decades. Acclimation is not possible.

So, amid any shade found, amid my rolling exhaustion, I must create, craft and deliver the word goods, still having little idea of the best writing schedule for my current needs that includes untangling my hair and having showers....

  • I've signed up for the project scheduling app, Trello... again. It does nothing for me. Maybe I'm not using it correctly, but it doesn't get me out of bed any earlier, and it doesn't keep me writing any later. Baaaad, app, baaad.
  • I've set project countdown clocks. When they go off, they go off too soon. I'm not a fast thinker/writer. Baaad timer, baaad.
  • If I write my social media posts, then there's little time in the rest of my day for my book projects.
  • I've tried getting up earlier. I fall asleep earlier.
  • I've tried getting up later to work later. But the word genie inside my head — picture Jeannie from the 60s TV show, I Dream of Jeannie — curls up for the night on her genie bottle circular couch, regardless.
  • I've tried working on the weekends, but then I feel living my life stops. What's the point in anything if I don't live my life?

Last weekend, I came to a reality check: I can't do everything all at once (like I didn't already know that... sigh...), so I've haphazardly decided that Monday, Wednesday, Friday are book project days, and Tuesday and Thursday are social media post days. Weekends I take off to live a life and to meet domestic responsibilities — errands and chores. I'm switching my laundry to Saturdays, so Sunday I can carve out a few hours for me, after gardening chores, to relax outside or read a book or just be.

On paper, the schedule looks peachy. In practice... pardon me if I step away from this post long enough to get a second cup of coffee before I collapse into a bear hibernation coma.......

Back with a new cuppa...

Oh, and did I mention I'm also hotel doorman, chef, and treat concierge for two cats?

How writers with kids function, I dare not ponder. My two fur balls can't fathom why I spend so much time pounding my fingers onto inedible squares when I could be out catching warm bird for their dinner.

I suppose my existence is like the existence of all writers, whether fame and fortune has staked a claim. Crikey, how would I squeeze in media requests and book tours into my already unreachable To-Dos! Thank goodness for relative anonymity.

*taking a sip of coffee, and ruminating...*

Well, there's one thing for sure. Being too busy offers no time to naval-gaze nor feel sorry for oneself. I guess that explains the adage, "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop."

Ergo, I'm angelically busy. I'll leave you with that juicy tidbit. Stop laughing at me! ;-)


Sites where B.J. Thompson writes...Click Title to View!

B J's Bookshelf...

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Hobbit
The Joy Luck Club
All the King's Men
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Mansfield Park
Faust: First Part
The Catcher in the Rye
Islands in the Stream
And the Sea Will Tell
Animal Farm
Charlotte's Web
Sophie's Choice
Angela's Ashes
Memoirs of a Geisha
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Hunt for Red October

B. J. Thomspon's favorite books »

B J's Literary Heros ~ Ernest Hemingway ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald ~ James A. Michener ~ Herman Wouk ~ James Jones ~ Vincent Bugliosi

I saw you peeking...