In the past few weeks people have asked me what I do to keep busy. Some of them are also retired but have chosen different channels for their lives (social, travel, too much of nothing). Some of the younger people continue to work at paying jobs. Others don’t seem to have an answer. I usually respond that I write a lot. But here is the best answer, for now.
I usually spend my first few hours of my day on this computer. Today I’m writing this, but I have checked emails and have some WordPress items to check on later, which means blogs to read and comments to follow-up. On most days, I walk for an hour or two. I write every day, but the amount varies. I spend some time with social media or trying to figure things out (tech junk) or I do some form of research. I spend about 45 minutes a day in a swimming pool. Thirty minutes swimming laps and more time with running, stretching, or vigorously kicking. The round-trip pool events take more than an hour. With prep and recovery time, I devote at least four hours a day (most days) to physical activity and listening to music, which I do while walking.
Occasionally, I nap. I watch some television to have a reason to feel guilty about wasting my time. But even then, my writer’s mind is working (plot, character, conflict, acting). Football season is winding down, baseball on TV is boring, and if a new season of The Voice begins, I will watch that. I am active in two local writing groups (3 to 6 hours per week). I recently backed away from a third group for a short list of reasons.
I have three major goals to work toward this year. One is to write a poem each day. That is going well so far, and I still write essays, short fiction, and random things like this post.
Second, I hope to do two blog challenges in April (A to Z and NaPoWriMo) and I am preparing for them as best I can.
My third goal is to self-publish a book of some of my work by mid-summer, or at least be reviewing proofs by that time. I also have a memoir to clean up and finish. Sue recently published a book of her poetry, (click to link to Amazon) so I am motivated to follow.
I will continue my reading of other blogs and commenting. I want to make changes to my blog that require me to do some figuring out. I may change the theme (what it looks like) again soon. While I like the simplicity and ease of my blog page now, I feel the need to work it. I want something I can organize better by genre/type (poetry, essays, fiction, philosophy or whatever). I hope to solve that dilemma by March.
My point is that while I have been posting on Monday and Thursday, I will not keep that up. I’ll continue to read and comment on other blogs every day, and I will post to my blog occasionally. But, I will not be tied to anything that looks like a plan or schedule. I expect to overdose with two posts per day beginning April 1st. In May, I will downshift to a more normal pace after I determine my new normal. Until then, fewer posts and maybe a theme change.
Looking both ways, learn from the past (yours and that of others)
and plan your future.
Either mind gaps with awareness or fill them with purpose.