Today, on her third day of first grade, my daughter Samantha woke up and said:
“I don’t want to go to school today.”
I was momentarily stumped, although I assured her that she was indeed going to school today and started making her breakfast.
And then it dawned on me…first grade is harder than Kindergarten. A lot harder. My daughter is now in school for a full day for the first time, after two years of half-days because we didn’t feel she was ready for a full day. (She wasn’t.)
Apparently, she’s still not quite ready. But then again, I kept letting her play with friends after school this week, even though I was concerned that she might get overtired. And now here she was exhausted by only the third day of school..and not wanting to go.
Doink. Silly, mama. First grade isn’t going to change to accomodate Samantha’s need for more down time. Her schedule after school needs to change so she can handle first grade. She needs to come home after school and rest and regroup, so she can be ready for the next day.
So today she will come home and rest and play quietly without playmates. Then we’ll plan some playdates for the weekend instead of right after school. And when and if she has some extra energy after school, we’ll find outlets for it. But not until she does.
So much of writing for publicaiton requires this kind of energy management. The work is often harder than we expect. There is more of it than we expect. And the amount of time we have to work to reach a satisfactory level of quality is often longer than we expect.
Working harder and longer than we are used to takes energy. Our job as writers is to figure out where that energy is going to come from.
I shared in The Writer Mama e-zine that I’ve accomplished a lot over the past six-and-a-half years since my daughter was born. People ask me all the time how I do it. I guess I have learned to manage my energy over the years. Not perfectly, but perhaps productively. I wish the same for you!
In the writing-for-publication spirit,
Editor and Publisher