Scheduling


Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Some people use their time better than others. For instance, now that I’m back at work, on Mondays I’m greeted with a barrage of stories of how people spent their weekends. Sometimes these stories drive me . . . nuts. Lets just say it. People without kids should not be allowed to talk about “everything” they have to do. Like laundry. For themselves. They also should not be allowed to talk about naps.

quotescover-JPG-30If I could have anything in the world, it would be more time. As a mom of a young family, wife of a (recovering) workaholic, a freelance writer, and an aspiring AUTHOR (with a day job), I find extra time is about as hard to come by as extra Jimmy Choos.

I have one author friend who never ceases to amaze me. He writes faster than Hugh Howey on steroids, returns AWESOME, detailed critiques, writes intelligent daily blog posts, and dominates social media. But this is the age of Author Swagger, and these are the things writers need to stay on top of if they want to succeed in today’s market. So, if anyone’s going to make it, it’s him.

And I’m not jealous. Well, Maybe I am a little jealous, but mostly, I’m just inspired. How does he manage his time so effectively? How am I going to do it? My writing is coming out slower than molasses in January, (in CANADA) never mind daily blog posts and social whatsitnow.

quotescover-JPG-13In the past, when I woke up in the morning to write, I might have wasted up to a half-hour in bed reading and commenting on blogs, and replying to messages on Twitter. Falling into the social media trap first thing in the morning is dangerous. Writing is hard. Hanging out with people on Twitter is fun. Checking out videos of dogs in spider costumes on Facebook? Also fun. Checking blog stats? Well, sometimes that’s more fun than others. But, I have come to realize that writing HAS to come first. Without the actual writing of the book, there is no need for the social media. This week, I’m waking up early, making a coffee, and switching on my computer. This week I’m sticking to a schedule to finally try and rebuild the writing muscles that atrophied all summer. This morning, I woke up at 4:30am and wrote. Before my kids got up at 7 and discovered the SNOW outside, I had almost completed my 500 words.


Now, I’m not opposed to a light dusting of snow necessarily . . .

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But here in PEI, we’re still a little traumatized from last year’s horror show.


After sending the hellions off to school, I sat down to finish this blog post and fire off a few tweets. Next, I go to work. When I get home, I’ll sneak in time for those the social media stuff I ignored this morning, and then comes the usual family rigmarole: dinner, homework, beating the children, (the little one doesn’t like to be tickled, but he LOVES a good beating) and finally bedtime, which I personally believe is the reason wine was invented.

And, while my husband watches the Blue Jays tonight, (because the Blue Jays are KILLING it this year) I will be reviewing stories for my critique group.

Hopefully, this new schedule will ensure my book get finished sometime before hell freezes over. Because, what sufferer of Maritime winters doesn’t enjoy the odd daydream of a million dollar book deal, and Jamaican vacations, the minute that snow begins to fly?


Most authors I know have day jobs and families too. How do you schedule your time? Leave a comment in the comment section!


12 thoughts on “Scheduling

  1. I’ve been writing this morning too … 490 words … 510 to go … not what I should be … my book … but a little crazy something to scare Dan with … well he did ask for it … yep this time round I’m in on the Fast Fiction Challenge. Scaring myself to be honest … so your post … a blessed relief … a marvel of wit and honesty … a reason to smile … at your words … not your situation … hell (let’s not go back there just yet!) you are a joy … an inspiration. Take care … and help two of the grandkids on the way after school so no more words to this evening and no doubt the small hours too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Eric, you’re on a role! I can’t wait to read your entry to Dan’s Flash Fiction Challenge. They’re a great way to get those creative juices flowing. I’ll be bowing out this week, but am excited to see what direction everyone runs with. Thanks for your encouragement!

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  2. I have a friend who golfs and says he can’t find time to write. I write and I can’t find time for golf (mainly because I hate golf. If there is water or woods, my golf ball will find it!)

    The start of the school year has changed things. I went to a skate party with a bunch of kindergarteners the other night. I could have skipped it to write, but kids are only little once. In a few years she won’t want dad at the skate party, or Trick or Treating, or reading to her class at school. Think about it. She’s five now. By age twelve or thirteen, she won’t want to Trick or Treat, so there are only 8 of those left, and some time before age thirteen that she won’t want me tagging along. That means I only get to Trick or Treat maybe 5 more times ever in my life with my kid. And when she was one and two, it wasn’t really Trick or Treating. It really just started to be good the last two years. If you love something, and you only get to do it 7 times in your entire life, you find the time.

    That’s an easy one. The harder ones are the daily things. Little things. Email, but personal email. Twitter. Facebook. That stuff is candy, gang, so it goes last. If I have an hour a day to do anything I want, and usually we have less than that, I sure am NOT going to waste it reading crap on Twitter. I’ll write that next chapter that’s been bugging me to get out of my head and into the computer. Nobody but me cares about Monday Night Football but I’ll be writing while its on, if I watch.

    Not that I do writing instead of other things that are good and enjoyable, which I occasionally do, but I think about priorities and how good I feel getting a chapter done and how bad I feel when I don’t. I have wasted days like anybody else, because, hey, we’re not robots. I think we were at the beach for a week and I wrote ONE day, that was it. I won’t write squat between Thanksgiving and New years, because last year I thought I’d get a TON of writing done then – and didn’t. There was too much stuff going on, mainly with the kid, and like I said how long is she gonna do Christmas pageants at school and believe in Santa anyway? Just by starting kindergarten I can’t take her to the Spanish market or the park like we used to. Things change.

    I believe I can get four quality books a year written right now, and do a blog, but not much else as far as social media. Don’t be fooled, I’ll sure act like I do, because I’m efficient. (New posts you’ll read on my blog next week were written last week or even longer ago – when I had time.) But I feel guilty when I tell my kid no and don’t play with her, too. Balance is the key.

    I don’t look down on how people are spending their time if they are spending it with their hellions and friends. They’re doing things right.

    Blow off writing for you family, not for the Kardashians.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, you make time for what’s important. Admittedly, I’ve watched the Kardashians ONCE, but it was with my stepdaughters, so I plead no contest. Or something . . . I’m not really sure how that law works, actually.
      The way that you look at taking care of your daughter is really sweet. She’s very lucky to have parents who understand just how fleeting some of these moments are.
      Making time for my family is something I’ve never had a problem with. When we had our first baby, I became a stay-at-home parent. While I always found ways to contribute financially, my first priority has always been my hellions.
      On the flip side of that coin, a parent should never become so wrapped up in their family that they lose themselves. One day, my children are going to move out. I want to lead by example. I want them to know that I worked hard to make something of myself.

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  3. That sounds like a great schedule…I’m sure you’ll make it work! Mine seems to have gradually slipped out of control over the past few months, and it’s really messing with my ability to accomplish anything. I need to get back on track too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s so easy to get off track, isn’t it? I feel like every now and then I need to pull myself aside for a firm talking to 😉 But, it seems like you and I are moving at about the same pace, now. Who knows? Maybe we’ll finish together!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really is easy to get off track…much easier than it is to get back on. I’ve had several firm talks with myself. I’d move past that stage and on to kicking my own butt, but that’s not too easy to do either. 🙂
        Finishing our books together would be awesome, but you’re wrapping up your second draft and I’m still not finished with my first…you’re light years ahead of me.

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  4. I just try to do what matters most when I write. Blog, book, talk, I try to write daily morning or evening, focusing on the closest deadline, whenever life permits. I know there is no perfect time, so I don’t try to find it. I just write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly how I operate . . . by the closest deadline. But, probably not in the healthy way you describe. Sometimes I’ll stay up until three in the morning to submit a new chapter to my critique group on time. A little bit of pressure is my best motivation. Not sure I could write without it!

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