Managing my time

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?

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13 thoughts on “Managing my time

  1. 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 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

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