On the writerly glory of Mondays

I’m a fan of Mondays. I know it sounds odd, but for me and my writing, Monday is the most important day of the week.

Monday has never been about racking up serious word count, or even about diving into monster revisions. Instead, Monday is about prevention. In particular, Monday is about preventing those work-stopping moments that happen all too frequently in a writer’s life. What do I mean by that?

“Rats! We’re out of milk.”

Or cat food. Or toilet paper, or any one of a list of things that means I have to stop everything, get in the car and remedy the situation right then and there. Ditto for things like “Mom, I’m out of socks.” Or gym clothes. Or “I need 35 cupcakes and sunscreen for school today and I forgot to tell you.” Doctors’ appointments. Due dates for bills. All of that administrivia of day to day life that tends to throw a wrench in your writing plans if you don’t stay on top of it.

So Monday is about staying on top of it. It’s about clearing the deck so I can spend the rest of the week focusing on my work with a minimum of disruption. It’s also about scheduling my writing during the family’s work and school hours so we can be a family on evenings and weekends.

Here’s what Mondays look like for me:

  • I go over the family schedule for details about work meetings, Scout meetings, play practice, permission slips, school minimum days., etc. If anything deviates from the norm, I try to find out on Monday so I can plan my work for the rest of the week.
  • I make a to-do list for the week. (Yes, some of you who know me are shocked by this, I know.) The list covers everything from writing deadlines to bills to doctor appointments.
  • I do about four loads of laundry, fold it and put it away.
  • I inventory the grocery situation, check the ads and pick up anything we’re low on.
  • While I’m out, I fill the gas tank, do any banking and pick up prescriptions, dry cleaning, cat food, etc.
  • I plan dinner for the rest of the week.

Most of the time, I’m done and home between 10 and 11 am, and I can spend the rest of the day writing. A well-executed Monday keeps my stress level low and my productivity high by making the week run smoothly.  The stress level part of it is important for me because I write my best when I’m relaxed and calm. I hate the weeks where I tell myself that I’ll finish something “next week” only to find that next week has a four hour client meeting, two doctor’s appointments, an after school event and an early dismissal day, a vet visit and a spouse who needs a ride to the airport.

My high wordcount days? They’re usually later in the week, made possible by the writerly glory of Mondays.

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