Posted by: Judy | September 21, 2015

Editing and Routines…

I’m currently working on edits for Reluctant Knight. This is the second round with my publisher’s editor. This round, I’m reading the book aloud. My editor suggested downloading a program to read the book to me. Unfortunately, I tested it first and was lost half way through the single sentence I wrote. It also doesn’t help that my brain kicked over to transcribing. The hazards of typing dictation. However, reading aloud to myself I hear things that don’t flow well and catch little things as I go. I’ll finish and send it back later this week. At the same time, I have dictation to do and more writing on other books.

Last Saturday, as my sister and I enjoyed P.croissant, we talked over some of my frustrations of last week. The N stuff is always maddening but doesn’t really change.

The blindsiding came from simply doing my job. My client needed a record back the next day. My routine is to deliver and pick up work on Tuesday and Thursday. I plan my errands around those two days. I’m able to make three stops without too much trouble. If I add in a fourth, I’m apt to forget something or mess up in one way or another. That, or it wipes me out.

Back to the rare request. My client needed a record returned on Wednesday.

I rarely, as in once every few years, need to return to my client’s office on Wednesday. My usual routine is a walk first thing in the morning and proceed through the day.

What happened?

I didn’t walk because I knew I wouldn’t be able to shower before I had to return the record. I could not go into the office in my workout clothes. I simply can’t. So, walk was off the table. I did everything I would have done, except the walk. Dropped off the record and returned home. The entire rest of the day completely fell apart. I couldn’t keep straight what came next. I felt a bit like a flea… yes, I’ve been called Paddy’s Flea on numerous occasions throughout my life.

On Thursday, I hit the “reset” button. I went to P.croissant like always and enjoyed yummy hot chocolate and a delicious chocolate turnover. Routine was back.

The odd part about routines: NM uses routines as a whip. Be faster. Be more efficient. Do more. Routines were all about control.

Truth about routines: I need them. Desperately. Routines help me in a lot of ways. Automatic pilot is a wonderful thing, especially when PTSD is messing up my memory. A routine is so engrained and tells me what comes next, vital when my brain goes blank.

Routine truth for me: My routines work best in groups of three. I’m occasionally able to do more than three, on good days. On a bad day, three is too many.

My rule of three has another benefit. “Wow! Look! I did three things!” Yes, sometimes I’m easily impressed. 🙂

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  1. My days aren’t really routines per se, although I do have certain things I need to do, starting with my running training. But I am really not spontaneous and need a minimum of 24 hours to kind of adjust to a new plan. It’s not that I don’t like to do stuff, but it’s like I need to mentally get my head around things like meeting someone for dinner, etc. I get pretty anxious without that buffer, which I’m sure has roots somewhere in how my mother raised me and feeling like I needed to be prepared for stuff.

    • Yes! I also need time to plan ahead. I have rare occasions I’m able to be spontaneous, but I think it’s more to do with the person involved. If it’s someone I trust, being spontaneous is easier. I think it’s how NM had a way of constantly changing things at the last moment as a way to set me up to fail. It will be my fault if I’m not ready, not her fault for giving me such short notice. That and a simple request will suddenly turn into a huge convoluted bit of insanity as NM adds terms and conditions that are unmeetable.

  2. 3 mushrooms too.

    • You caught that. 🙂

      • By the way, the rule of 3 works in art too.

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