If you’ve been watching my word count for the last few days, you know that it’s been pretty much stuck. I kept up reasonably well for the first few days of Meeple Fest, but as I expected I wasn’t able to write every day. I’d planned on that, which is why my goal for last week was only 1500 words, instead of my usual 2000. What I hadn’t planned on — but should have — was that the disruption of my routine continued after I got back. Turns out that when you’re only in the office for six days out of ten, there’s a lot to do when you get back.
I read a software development book about a decade go that contained this gem (or something like it): “When you slip, make sure you don’t fall.” That is, short-term delays are inevitable. Something you didn’t plan for is always going to come up. The important thing is to deal with these and then get on with whatever you were doing. In my case, that meant cutting a few things out of my normal daily work until I could re-establish myself. I needed to focus on getting back to running before I could worry about working on the novel. Today, because our schedules have not overlapped well this week, I had lunch with Gwen instead of taking notes on the facilitation book I had been reading; I’ll probably get back to that tomorrow. And this weekend I’ll catch up on the Instapaper articles I’ve been stacking up.
When things happen that derail my normal plans, I focus on the most important things and let the others slide. Then I slowly add them back in until I’m up to speed. I don’t like have to do this, but it works. The alternative is flailing around and falling down.