Thursday, August 26, 2010

No Time! There's Never Any Time!

How do you all do it? How do you find time to write?

I know we have to make time for the things that are important to us, but now that school is starting back up and I'm getting back into a work routine, I'm feeling oh-so-overwhelmed. (And so excited. And so scared.)
I have two jobs, both of which leave me feeling drained at the end of the day. When I'm done teaching I feel emotionally and mentally drained, and when I'm done working at the restaurant, where I am now down to three shifts a week, I feel physically drained.
Then of course, there is my life. I have a husband and friends and family that I like to see and hang out with. I've always been very social, and even though I find myself staying home more than I used to, it's still in my nature to want to go out, have fun, and be in the middle of things. 
I haven't been to the gym in months because I can't figure out how to fit it in, both time-wise and energy-wise. And I was just off work for two months and felt too stretched thin to find time to work out. Now that I'm working full time again? Ugh. Where will it go?
And the reading, of course. I don't just read because I like it, I read to stay up on YA trends and see what is out there. So part of it (okay, most of it) is leisure and part of it is research.
Oh, and two blogs. Man, I love blogging, I always have, but it sure does take a lot of time. Oh and the Twitter and the facebook and the e-mail and the whatever else because so many of my friends live online like I do. (The comic today on InkyGirl pretty much sums this up for most writers, I think.)

(And, seriously...those of you with kids? I can't even FATHOM how you fit it all in.)
So in there somewhere I have to find time to write. It's so important for me to write...obviously I do it because I love it. But when I come home from a long, exhausting day at work and I look at my open Word doc and then I look at the book on my table or my Twitter feed, well, the book and the Twitter just take so much less energy, you know?
Time management has never been a skill of mine. Neither has multi-tasking. Neither has concentrating, really.

I'm thinking about making a daily schedule for myself. Does anyone else do this? Does it work? I feel a little silly allocating all of my free hours (5:00-5:15 - Twitter, 5:15-5:30 - Facebook, 5:30-6:30 - Read), but I'm not sure how else I can make sure everything gets done. (Aside from finding myself a Time Turner...anyone have an extra one lying around? Hermione? Bueller?)

I'm thinking about all of this because I have set a goal for myself. I want to be ready to query at the end of January. So that leaves me about 5-ish months to revise, revise, revise the heck out of my WIP and get it ready to go.
I'm on Major Revision - Round 1 right now.
So I think I'm going to make myself a schedule and see if it works. And if you guys have any good time management tricks, please let me know. Clearly I'm going to need all the help I can get.


  1. I attempt a schedule...some days it works some not so much. After Sammie goes down, I try and do some housework, catch up on blogs, update my blogs. Then I read or hang out with the husband until bedtime. Throw in there a load of laundry and you have my evenings. I have been trying to fit more writing time in but I am finding if I sit at my computer I get distracted by the 'net or other things I need to do.

  2. Schedule sounds like a good idea. It might take one of your (few) evenings to accomplish, but it might help going forward. I really like Google's calendars - I actually have a few different calendars and it makes it easy. If you find something that works will you post a followup blog?

  3. I created a schedule for myself.

    I used it for one week.

    It's now home to some plot notes I made when I didn't have a spare piece of paper.

    Obviously I know exactly where you're coming from, because I've been doing the PT/FT job routine for a year and a half now. I write when I can. Usually Wednesdays are a wash because I'm working all day and all night, but I'll try to squeeze in some CP reading or regular reading at the very least. Every other Friday is a wash, too, but the opposite Fridays I have off (thanks, furlough...I think) so that makes up for it. You know my motto is: coffee, stay up late, Who needs sleep? But I know you don't work that way.

    I just don't watch a lot of TV and I hope the husband doesn't hate me too much when I can only say yes to hanging out with him half the time. It's hard, but I make it work.

    OK, long comment over. :)

  4. I can't believe you have 2 jobs and now 2 blogs as well! How do you find the time for it all?

    I am terrible at schedules also. I need to find one that works for me. If you figure out the secret, let me know...

  5. I find I'm SUPER distractable and it helps me to set up a schedule. I can't say I do this every day, or that I stick to it, but if I limit the time I spend on even just the internet, I can be SO much more productive. You know, you go on Facebook, then click on a link, then read the article, then forget why you even got on the internet in the first place...

    In any case, if you do try to block out your time, I wouldn't make it so strict. Just block out, say, 45 minutes of internet time and do whatever you want in those 45 minutes. Or maybe work for 45 minutes and then do whatever you want for 15 minutes. I've just found if I make things super stringent for myself, I'm bound to fail.

  6. I can't keep a schedule, but I do make a list of things I need to do in a week and then try to get the most important things done.