Ursula K. Le Guin’s Creative Schedule and Wisdom

Already burned out on scheduling and planning; and feeling all of those New Year’s resolutions, intentions, hopes, and dreams crawl back into the shadows until late December? Creative inspiration can still come.

Black & White portrait of Ursula K. Le Guin with yellow text: Ursula K. Le Guin’s Creative schedule.
Black & White portrait of Ursula K. Le Guin with yellow text: Ursula K. Le Guin’s Creative schedule.

I have a confession to make. Ever since I wrote about schedules and daily planning, I have come to resent Ben Franklin and think his hallowed schedule completely obnoxious. In fact, I think journaling to-do lists made me sick this past week. Instead of feeling inspired by Benny’s morals-obsessed daily journaling, I started to think, “Oh go fuck yourself. Do I need to do good every goddamned day?” I consulted my Power Circle about to-do list illness, and I resentfully called him all kinds of unfair names.

For the record, I still do very much love my First grader’s schedule. It’s only getting better with age. You can read about it in the link. Take ol’ B.F.’s schedule with a grain of salt like I now am, or find the inspiration that may still be in it waiting there for you.

A fellow mother in my Power Circle had been talking about reading the Earthsea series with her daughter, and up bubbled a memory in me of an interview I’d once read or watched with the wondrous and local queen of Science Fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin. I remembered that she graced us with her wisdom until the very end of her life. “I’d like to re-read Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places,” I thought. What would it mean to me, now? The first time I read it had sent me plunging back into C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, (but funny enough, I never read the unfinished manuscript that she reviewed.) And then I remembered that, at some point, maybe on Tumblr, her schedule from a 1988 interview had gone viral. I couldn’t remember why, but I knew that if it came from her, then it was likely special, funny, and wise. I found it again, in the introduction of The Last Interview, which was magically waiting for me in my library holds in the Libby app (one of the other things that I am most grateful for the existence of — especially over the past year.) Something has changed in the way I take in Ursula’s writings and wisdom since becoming a mother and since this pandemic began.

Ursula K. Le Guin’s schedule, found in text here: https://web.archive.org/web/20190805205550/http://www.slawcio.com/ursula.ht
Ursula K. Le Guin’s schedule, found in text here: https://web.archive.org/web/20190805205550/http://www.slawcio.com/ursula.ht

“If I’m at the beach there would be one or two long walks on the beach in that day. This is a perfect day for me.” — UKLG

It’s that last line that really gets me. I love the whole thing even though our stupid times are swapped. And, I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be a morning lark. This is a schedule of goals and priorities that sings right into my soul, deep. Thank you, Ursula. Thank you.

As I close out this post, my penultimate daily writing for January 2021, I am now thinking less about schedules and planning. Instead, I am wondering what Queen Ursula, housewife and mother from Portland, Oregon, would have to say to us now after this past year?

Reading what she did leave us with, compliments of the marvelous Multnomah County Library System (🙏🙏🙏,) oughta give me some good guesses. Reading Catwings with my son should be good, too!

nerd with an MLIS superphoebe.com

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