WWDD*

*What Would Dani Do?

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to do when the kids go back to school next week. You see, I’m a scheduler (just like I’m a plotter when I write). I like schedules and routines. From the time the kids were born we’ve had routines in our house; I think kids thrive on them, as long as they aren’t “break your knuckles” strict. And I have just enough “absent minded professor” in me to go off the routine every couple of days or get distracted by something out of the ordinary like a school event. But having some kind of schedule or routine gives me a goal, at least.

So I’m looking at our afternoons (once everyone gets home from school and I’m home from work) to brainstorm how I can be the most productive while overseeing homework and music practice and dinner, etc. There are things I need to get out of the way when I first get home, but I don’t need to put writing off until last thing in the evening because by then my brain is fried. It is way too easy to procrastinate when I’m tired.

Some possibilities I’ve come up with:

1. Take laptop to the table and do social networking and email return while overseeing Little Man’s homework (Book Worm is mostly self-sufficient now, except for some math issues, so as long as I point her in the right direction and check when she’s done, she’s good).

2. Start prep for dinner as soon as we walk in the door, i.e. knowing what we’ll have, setting out supplies, and knowing when I need to start thawing meat, etc.

3. Take some time in the early evening (possibly before dinner prep) to pre-write. I usually do this before I do my actual writing by sketching out (long hand) the scene I’ll be working on, characters, setting, motivations, etc. It lets me get it clear in my mind and starts the creative juices flowing. Maybe if I do this early in the evening, I’ll be ready when I do sit down to write.

4. Have a few minutes of snack time when we first come in the door, sitting at the table together and talking about our days before we move into the rush of homework.

5. Keep watch for those spare minutes when the kids are occupied with something else to get words on the page. Luckily, after being cooped up in school all day, my kids love to spend some time outside, especially as fall sets in. I need to be prepared to jump on those times to get writing done, even if it’s only a page at a time.

Do y’all have any suggestions for making those busy evenings go more smoothly, while still being productive?

 

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3 thoughts on “WWDD*

  1. Get the homework out of the way! That’s my main advice. I know people say kids should have time off once they get home, and I agreed with that for a while, until I realized how much more stressed we were when we tried to get homework done right before bed. It’s better to get it over with after a snack, leaving the rest of the evening free. And that’s a great time for you to start prep work for writing.

  2. I agree that taking a little break together to talk about the day and how the evening will go is a good idea. I also agree with Ella that after the break it is a good idea to get the homework out of the way then everyone can relax!

  3. I definitely try to do this, Ella! I’ve found on the days I let homework slide, we ALL suffer. 🙂 We have a short snack time and then they do homework, so we at least have that out of the way. Stephanie, it never occurred to me to talk to them about what’s going on that evening. We usually talk about parts of everyone’s days, but I really should give them a heads up about what’s coming. Kids do much better when they know what do expect, I think

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