Making Time – What’s Your Score?

What do you do to make the time to get all of the important things done?

Most of the writers I know aren’t only writers, they are moms, wives, aunts, lawyers, teachers, doctors, PR Divas (oh, that’s me:), and a laundry list of other things all of which must get done.

I want to talk about making time, and what tricks, commitments, decisions, we make to do that thing we want to do. And for most of us, that thing, isn’t just one, but many.

Right now, I’m working hard to be organized. But I need help. Seriously. It’s just hard to sit alone and write. I wish I could say it some other way, but the truth is you must be supremely self-motivated and a bit selfish to an extent, to spend such big slices of your life in front of a computer – alone.

Yeah, that’s how I spent the weekend, and yes, I am happy with the results (writing-wise), but I’m also wondering what did I miss. Let’s make a list and see how I scored!

1. Exercise – 0 (made it from the bed to the computer to the terrace to the living room to the kitchen, to the computer – yep, you get the picture – and it ain’t pretty).

2. Reading – 8 (finished the first book of J.R. Ward’s Dagger vampire series – jeez, just give me Wrath for an hour, please).

3. Family – 4 (My son returned from his world travels, and we spoke for a few minutes. I talk to my mom every day, so okay).

4. Friends – 8 (if we count emails and Facebook, I rule.)

5. Writing – 9 (but don’t ask how many words, I’m taking a course on scenes and rewrote a MAJOR scene, which took two freaking days).

6. Bitching – 4 (I’m just counting this post).

So, tell me, how do you writers, authors, who in addition to writing, publishing, marketing, get it all done? Give me the secret! I don’t even have small kids (or a full-time man, husband, etc. to keep happy either), and still I am swamped!

Okay, I don’t want to be too much of a sour puss – I do believe that continuous effort is key. They say no matter what you’ve got to keep writing. So maybe I should be saying, I intend to keep trying to do this writing thing, and other things, better and better, and better.

But I sure wouldn’t mind a tip or two…

PS: Contests are GOLD today. Unpublished writers, The Golden Pen deadline is today! Enter. Great judges…also, The Golden Palm entry deadline is midnight August 15. Put your stuff out there, writers!

20 thoughts on “Making Time – What’s Your Score?

  1. I hear ya, Denny! And loved your list, as I love all lists. 😉 I often wonder how the moms/wives get anything done since I also don’t have to worry about that aspect of life. No seriously – how do they do anything?!?! Ha-ha!

  2. A very timely topic Denny (ha ha). This is something I constantly struggle with. I’m excited to hear the advice the other commenters will have. When things get too overwhelming, I turn off the Internet. Oh, and I set goals. And make lists, which I may or may not use. But the very act of list-making helps me arrange my thoughts. And I remind myself, I am doing my very best, and that’s all I can do.
    Thanks for this post, and remember, we mermaids (and all of our friends in the lagoon) are in this together!

    1. What’s funny to me is that I am very good with my JOB and am a list queen. But when I’m working on a book, I’m so hesitate about making decisions. What comes next is like the most horrifying three words in the whole wide world (lol). But it’s good to know – the Mermaids are there, seriously!

  3. I, the ultimate lover of lists, love this post. How do we do it? (ROFLMAO) Okay now that I’ve had a really good laugh…I’m sad. There is no answer!! I swear I try but I don’t seem to get everything done and now that I’m in the process of getting my first book out, redesigning not only my dining room and daughter #2’s bedroom, daughter #1 is switching rooms with my office and her bedroom!!!

    Don’t even ask about laundry, house chores (as my house is upside down with all the moving of rooms) and my writing is early morning from 5-8. Exercise?!!! Does three flights of stairs from bedroom to office or laundry room count? (I live in a townhouse.)

    When you all find out the answer to the age old question—please inform me. It seems to be the ultimate secret (that along with a list of how to lose weight instantly). 🙂


    1. Sounds good, but I just got a new RFP – and if we get this business, I’ll be looking for help…lol! Actually, I’m serious. But yeah, I wish I could let go of the JOB – but not yet…not just yet…

  4. Thanks for the post!

    My true test of not letting my “writing life” slip was last week. I planned a convention for 665 attendees (ha- really 666 but I refused to go on record with 666). I knew I would have no time to write, so I promised myself that I would instead open my mouth and talk up my WIP in one-to-one conversations every chance I got and share the news that I’m a finalist in a contest.

    Not only did this get me even more excited to keep going with all the encouraging words, but I was also doing some pre-publish promotion.

    So even though I didn’t write a single word these last two weeks, I still felt productive in reaching my goal! I just had to tweak the tactics.

    Now, I’m back to writing.

    1. You know Robin – in a way that’s what I did recently during a FAM event Las Vegas. Although it was a JOB event (I am an event manager, too), I ‘outed’ myself as a romance writer – focusing on my ero romance WIPs, and after years (at least three) of not mentioning what I do – it felt liberating. So I hear you! And yeah, it does help keep you focused when you aren’t straddling two worlds, but have both feet firmly planted in both:)!

  5. I just got home from a 10-day trip (research, right?), so it’s time to get back to writing. Just as soon as jet-lag lets go of my brain.

  6. Right now I’ve got Exercising and Writing down. There’s a little Family snuck in there, along with some TV to cleanse the palate. Reading is 0. Social networking has degraded to what I can type on my phone while in the bathroom.

    Oh — and there needs to be a category about appearances…or anxiety attacks over the preparation of appearances. Dragon*Con really needs to hurry up and get here already. xox

    1. With your schedule, I can’t even imagine how you get it all in! But you do, and hats off to you! Seriously, your constant drive is inspiring! And looking forward to your blogging about Dragon*Con!

  7. My writing time changes drastically in about three weeks, from “endless” to “nearly none”. That said, I still can not manage to be a heads down writer. I find myself flitting from task to task. Yesterday, #totaldude called me a “snacky writer”, as in, I write the way other people snack. Exercise is near 0 as well. Family, on the other hand, is terrific! Go figure.

  8. Love your description there about not being a heads down writer – I think that describes me as well. I am too impatient. I need to jump up every few minutes to let it sink in, or wash it out of my hair!

    1. Carlene! You crack me up. That’s what I really wanted to say, but I thought, “I can’t very well just say ‘I don’t know.’ So, maybe I should just skip this one.” LOL.
      I really don’t know how to juggle anything. I do remember Nora Roberts giving a talk once about juggling the things in your life. It always resonated with me. She talked about how some balls are rubber and will bounce if they’re dropped. Other balls are glass, and they will shatter. (She said it much better, but you get the drift.) I just try to make sure that my kids are taken care of first and foremost because those are my glass balls. And I don’t want to shell out a bunch of money in therapy for them later when I’m accused of neglect. 🙂 There are really very few glass balls. Work will be there. Dishes aren’t going to need therapy for their neglect. So, neglect them when you feel like doing something else. Dust bunnies also don’t care about neglect. As a matter of fact, they love to gather some of their friends and have a party under tricky furniture. So, let them!
      As far as exercise, I just run to the fridge or for the phone. But, hey, at least I’m running.

  9. Great post and you are SOOOOO right! I always feel like I’m juggling or being supremely selfish closed off in my little space behind the computer. I wish I knew the secret too, so if you find it let me know! 🙂

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