This Is How I Do It (TL;DR: Piecemeal and Flexibly)

Katy Peplin has a great Twitter thread on the difference between sharing your process with “This is how I do it” and “This is how you should do it.”

I try to write with the former attitude. Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega does this and it’s one of the things I most appreciate his writing.

I thought today I’d share one thing that address how I do it, wherein it = almost anything in life at all.

Piecemeal. In teeny, tiny fragments. I’ve written before about parenthood and kintsugi.

Yesterday, I was thinking about how I want to write more, and I had a thought about writing that was so good, I wanted to capture it. This happened in literally the one minute before M’s swim lesson started, so there I was on a deck chair by the pool with M basically in my lap (and he’s big, y’all, I love having him in my lap but it’s very different now), and took out my phone and typed out these words:

There will never be time to write. This is my life now. Prismatic. Fragmented. The bits inside a kaleidoscope. They make beautiful patterns and they can be arranged in new ways but they aren’t large. So how do I write in the fragments?

“How do I _______ in the fragments?” is the guiding question of my life. There is perpetually a giant pile of laundry at the foot of my bed. I do put the laundry away, but I put it away one item at a time, while I’m getting dressed and in between finding the things I want to wear on a given day.

I’m working on binding a little pamphlet-bound notebook for M. I fold a page here and there when I can.

This is how I get things done. It’s necessitated by two things: parenthood, which carries with it the eternal threat of interruption, and chronic illness, which means that while my mind loves and craves routine, my body disrupts my ability to stick to it.

So I live by this mantra: what I can, when I can.

And that’s how I get stuff done.

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Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
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