I had the great fortune to be on vacation for many days during the holiday season this past couple weeks. Now that I find myself in the middle of my first real week back, I notice that I am not blogging as much nor doing as much writing or editing. Curious, that.
I’ve read a lot about people who work to balance a full-time job (or school) with writing and the general sentiment seems to be that saving writing for the end of the day is a bad idea; work or school is invariably mentally and physically draining, leaving us with little left over to put on the page. Also, in the few hours I have at home before I go to sleep, I prefer to spend time with my husband instead of lock myself away to hammer at the keys for an hour or so.
I have given some thought to rising early for the sake of writing. To be honest, the idea of rising early for anything sounds unholy. Then again, I have gotten up earlier than usual and not suffered any terrible consequences; it’s actually easier to get up if I have some special reason to do so. It would be a nice, quiet (dark) time to collect thoughts and put them down. I couldn’t listen to music too loudly, but that’s a small compromise.
I can’t be on vacation all the time, sadly. I have to make the most of the time that I have.
How do you all balance life and writing?
13 thoughts on “Managing my time”
I actually do all of my writing after work, and I have full-time job. As a result of having relatively limited time, I don’t get as much done on the weekdays as I do on the weekends, but it works. I completely drop work in the 20 minutes it takes to drive home and pick up a different life in writing, gaming, editing, and the like with a completely different set of energy.
I was able to do that during NaNo, but I feel like I’ve lost the knack. Perhaps it will just take me a few more days to get back into the rhythm of my work schedule.
I suggest changing your approach a touch from NaNo. I wrote a blistering 3400 words a day during NaNo, racking up 103,000+ words. All of December I scaled back to 14k and 10k short stories. I had to spend more time in “real life,” so while a quarter of the wordcount sounds terrible, it’s substantially larger than zero.
I initially got upset when my wordcount dropped in December, but had to tell myself that nearly anything was better than my progress for the rest of last year.
If you feel like writing then you write. When I first started blogging, I felt like I had to constantly write to maintain the interests that I have with my readers. But that made me creatively restricted and not enjoy writing because it felt forced upon. When I have that urge, I would try and get everything done so I can sit down in the room by myself and simply let my mind do all the talking.
I nearly always want to write and usually have something interesting (at least, I think so) to say. It’s finding the time to sit in front of the computer and do it before I feel too exhausted. I’m thinking on workarounds to this, though, and I should probably try to get more writing done on the go.
My first NaNo win came when I was working full time and in a production of Les Miserables. Still have no idea how I did that. Right now I can’t find time to write and I’m unemployed. I think it’s just a matter of trial and error and getting used to things. Mornings are an abomination unto Nuggan, but apparently using them to write can be a good way to start the day and get the mind working.
Have you tried the tomatino method (or pomodoro, or whichever language it’s in)? I’ve got a wind-up cupcake on my desk and set myself 25 minutes(ish) to write, during which time I’m not allowed to do anything else. Even if I only manage one of those a day (and really, I should be managing a lot more, but it always makes me want to bake), I’ve usually hammered out at least 500 words.
I like that idea. Waking up early enough to get 25 minutes of writing in before a shower sounds like a big improvement from my current state. I think I’ll stop by the dollar store on the way home and pick up a timer for that very purpose, thanks!
I, too, usually writer after work, although occasionally I’ll get something out before. I sometimes can front-load blog posts so that they’re scheduled for the week, but that hasn’t been happening much lately. I also had a fabulous break from work, during which I could get a lot done. This month, with Zero to Hero I’m going full force, but don’t think it’s sustainable. I don’t like schedules, so try to honor my mood. Feel like it? Do it? Don’t want to deal? Take a break. It’s meant to be enjoyable. That said, deadlines are helpful!
I think I’m trying to beat myself up for not posting as regularly as I did in the beginning. Which is the same sentiment as beating myself up when my word count per day dropped in December; silliness. I really do think I’m going to give the rising early thing a go. Even if I don’t end up blogging more, I think it will add something positive to my day.
Don’t stress about being “as regular” with the blog. I keep on coming up with blog topics on a regular basis, and I have no set schedule of when I post at all. Having a Friday deadline for a follow-up post is actually a first for me.
Yeah, I need to work on that before I start trying to post for the sake of posting instead of because I have something to say. Once a week seems respectable, attainable and sustainable.