Just as I settle into a routine, something gets snagged or shifted, and I have to pivot my time and energy. This is usually the time of year when my day job amps up. As I finish the summer sessions, I see gaps in my schedule. I know it will take a few weeks before others log time on my calendar. In this space, my mind conjures projects. The conjuring is one part, and often the easiest. The other piece is executing, which always takes more determination and effort.
I’m wrapping up the first draft of “Alphabet City.” In the spaces on my calendar, I’m squeezing in training videos that I’ll use with Holly, videos about the craft of writing, and expanding an admin task I’ve been working on the past few months. I mentioned last week I’m taking an online writer’s retreat. These videos have me rethinking how I approach writing. I admit, it’s helping me with what I’ve been working on for eighteen months. I have two different narrators recording two different books. I look at my to-do list and consider how I can shift what takes priority.
As soon as I finish AC, I need to return to the Roanoak series, a pivot from one fiction piece to another. Holly has been hurt this week, so I haven’t been able to apply much of the new information from the videos. Instead of riding several days a week, I have to pivot and find interesting things for us to do that won’t overwork her sore muscle. I’m almost done with the last of the craft videos. I’m ready to pivot and put away the learning in exchange for the application. As the narrators complete the recordings, I need to pivot from other tasks to editing the chapters. I’m hoping, but careful not to have too big of an expectation, that this writer’s retreat will make such a difference that it will instigate the biggest pivot: how I view myself as a writer going forward.
I don’t know that there’s a right or wrong way to pivot, to change priorities and directions, where energy and effort are placed based on need and want. If I turn the wrong direction, then it’s up to me to catch myself as soon as I can and change course. My calendar will get filled with a variety of things. Holly will heal. I’ll publish AC. And then I’ll pivot and begin again. How are your pivoting skills? When was the last time you had to change course? How did it go?