Kelly Maher


When your plan is knocked askew

So, in my last post, I discussed my daily routine a bit in terms of my daily word count goal. What I don’t think I have discussed is the technical aspects to my writing setup. I primarily use Google Docs because I want to have the ability to write across devices any time, any where–that I have internet access. That is the huge drawback for using a system like this. For the most part, I do have reliable internet access, but Comcast did something funky with my landlord’s account and cut off access Thursday morning. This was complicated by the fact that I’d forgotten to download a backup copy from Google Docs like I try to do every day. Well, I had only instituted that little procedure on Monday, so it hadn’t sunk in yet.

I discovered the internet outage after I had confirmed my shower was still not working. Apparently the shower issue was the easier one to fix. That was one human error on my part and I found there’s a lever which controls water pressure 🙂 However, the internet issue wasn’t fully resolved until this morning. When I realized that my writing time was shot on Thursday, I decided to head into the office early. I had hoped that the internet issue would be resolved by the time I got home, so even though I thought about bringing my netbook into the day job to download a copy of the file I’d been working on, I chose not to. Dumb move. As I had also ended up working an extra hour at the day job, I decided not to bother attempt writing on my phone. That’s hard enough to do when I’m perfectly in mind to do it. Friday morning when I woke up and discovered the internet was still out, I packed up the netbook and headed into the day job early. I got on our guest network and downloaded a copy of the file from Google Docs. Sadly, I was not pleasantly surprised when I got home as the internet was still out. But because I had the backup file, I could work offline. I know there’s an offline option for Google Drive (which houses Docs), but I’ve yet to make that work correctly for me.

In addition to being at a total goal deficit from when I decided not to work on Thursday, I was still about an additional 1000 words down from when I’d been sick at the beginning of the month. This is one of the reasons why I like to schedule my weekends as non-writing times. If I get behind due to various circumstances beyond my control like I did this week, I can cut into those weekends and not feel overwhelmed. Today I was able to completely eliminate the deficit and add an additional 100 words or so to Project Femur. Even better is that I was able to do it in an hour and forty-five minutes. I now feel good that my day wasn’t spent obsessing over getting the words done, and I don’t have them hanging over my head tomorrow when I will not be home. Instead, alter ego can head up to Philadelphia for the ALA Midwinter Meeting and play with her librarian friends 🙂

To sum up: when your plan is knocked askew, treat each new day or week as a fresh slate. Don’t let what you’ve “lost” hang over your head. You will make it up in whatever way works best for you! What tips do you have for correcting your course when things don’t go as planned?

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