(personal/writing) Thinking about time management

In a way, I’m lucky.  My day job doesn’t come home with me.  I go in, I deal with people, and I go home.  It’s not something that I can bring home, nor is it something that I have to really schedule (lucky me, my day is scheduled for me).  So articles about how to “work smarter, not harder” are ones I read with an eye towards my second job – writing.


What brought this up?  I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately.  I belong to several writers groups, and all of them feature folks who write faster than me.  I don’t write fast.  A good day for me is about 2k and it generally takes me all day.  I’m not someone who is going to be regularly pulling a Lowell (10k in a day) or more.  I don’t win NaNo on Day 3.  And sometimes, watching these word counts, I feel (a) jealous; (b) like a fake; (c) like I should be doing more; (d) a total failure.


Now, before everyone rushes in to tell me it’s okay, trust me, I know.  I’m not a failure.  I’ve got a full series published.  I can finish stories.  I know I’m not a fake, and that everyone writes at their own speed.  But it also got me to looking at HOW I write, and what I can do to maximize the writing time I have.


I confess, I’m an internet junkie.  I love to have a writing chat room up while I write, and I’m constantly checking Facebook (I fell off the Twitter wagon when I didn’t have an Android phone for a year, and still haven’t really gotten back into it).  I’ll write with the TV in the background.  I’m a true multitasker – which really isn’t good.  (Case in point – while writing this blog post, I’m eating breakfast.)  And I’m sure it affects my writing.


One of the things I recently read (and of course, now I can’t find the link, oh well) was talking about scheduling rather than making a to-do list.  I don’t do this, because I am terrible at estimating how much time something will take me.  Seriously.  So what do you do when you’re me and terrible at something?  PRACTICE!


Starting tomorrow (because I will be out all day today, hence the blog post while writing breakfast before I run out the door), I’m going to start scheduling my time, and then seeing how close I came to it.  I expect the first few weeks to be hysterically inaccurate, but that’s okay.  That’s how I learn.


How do YOU maximize your writing/crafting time?  Any hints?

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3 thoughts on “(personal/writing) Thinking about time management

  1. LJ Cohen

    I have no brilliant advice-honestly? I’m in the same boat as you. A 2K day is cause for celebrations and a happy dance. Today I eeked out 130 words before my monkey brain distracted me.

  2. Connie Cockrell

    Hugs and good luck on the scheduling. When I write I sign out of the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Tsu, email, is all off. Once in awhile I get back on to look up names, a fact, or something but just that then I turn it off again.

    I have enough will power not to look at chat or social networks but why tempt myself. It all gets turned off. I only go into chat after my words for the day are done.

    The other trick, when I’m writing anything more than a short story, is to work from an outline. I have a sentence per scene so I know what I want to do in that scene and after a quick re-read of the last chapter to ground myself, I’m on to the next thing.

    Happy scheduling.

  3. J.A. Marlow

    First, lots of hugs!

    Second, seeing you come into Forward Motion chat with the goal of getting at least 250 words each night there for a while was very inspiring. I was, and still am, going through a hard time with being a full-time caretaker. Watching you makes me think I can do it.

    So, from one of those who is able to do a big Nano-sprint, don’t think your more slow plugging along isn’t inspiring. It is. Very much so. It’s helped me to continue to get words here and there despite the stress.

    You write in a different way. That’s great. It’s good for writers to see the various ways the writing can be done. I know it helped me.

    So, please, keep at it in whatever way works for you. 🙂

    And lastly, more hugs! 😀

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