Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I Need a Schedule

This summer, I've felt off. The reason is very clear to me too. I don't have a schedule. With my husband and daughter home, I can't get my scheduled writing time each day. I'm sneaking time here and there, and sometimes it's only a half hour and it's not interrupted. 

I miss my schedule. I miss knowing that I'll write at a specific time each day. Once the end of August rolls around, I'll have a new schedule. My daughter will be in school full-time. I've already figured out that I'll write all morning (Sounds glorious, doesn't it?), keep up with email and social networking during lunch (I always work through lunch for some reason), and edit in the afternoons. I'm looking forward to getting back to a schedule, and I think my writing will benefit from it too. I'm also excited that the evenings can just be family time since the rest of my day will be devoted to writing and editing.

How about you? Do you need a schedule to get work done or can you manage just finding time wherever possible?

*And congrats to Wendy W. for winning a hardcover copy of Raised by Wolves in the Annual Summer Giveaway Hop!*

60 comments:

  1. I completely understand! With four kids, I haven't gotten hardly any writing done this summer. Although I'll miss my kids, they'll all be going to school this year full-time. I can't wait to have the day to work on my writing! Like you, I've been working on a writing schedule. Hopefully I'll stick to it. :)

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    1. I really am going to miss my daughter, so I'm torn. I want my schedule back and the new schedule will mean tons of time to write, but I'm going to miss her like crazy.

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  2. My girl has long flown the nest, so I have all the time in the world. Which is why nothing gets done..... Scheduling requires discipline. Kelly,you clearly have it. I, the idler and procrastinator, salute you!!

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    1. I can be very tough on myself, Carol. Sometimes I have to remember that most of my deadlines are self-imposed. When my publisher gives me a deadline, I make myself finish even sooner. I'm kind of crazy like that.

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    2. Carol, I'm not a parent or someone's spouse, and I have to fight the same procrastination.

      Maybe sometimes the procrastination comes from fear, not necessarily willful laziness, and trust me, the difference can be so slight you can't always tell in the moment.

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    3. That's a great point, Taurean.

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  3. Yay! I celebrate your upcoming freedom - freedom to do what you love: writing. There's nothing like it. :-)

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    1. Thanks! I can't get over how much I'm going to miss my daughter though. When I woke up this morning, the air had this smell to it. It smelled like the first day of school. If that makes sense. ;) I'm already dreading having to let her go.

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  4. I need a schedule, but I'm sometimes my own worst enemy. I'll sit down to write and then suddenly have the urge to clean the house, or mow the lawn, or do any number of things that should be kept outside of that time.

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    1. I never have the urge to clean. LOL. I do it because it needs to be done. On the other hand, I'll be cleaning and have the urge to write. ;)

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  5. Oh, I understand about writing especially now during the Summer holidays. The schools here open again on September 3rd, so until then, I try to snatch whatver minutes I can between my job and my kids.And like Katja, whenI sit down I suddenly remember I have to clean or something else..LOL Bad. Will be easier once school starts.

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    1. I can't get over you ladies wanting to clean. Is it weird that I don't feel that way? I'm starting to wonder. LOL

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  6. I always shave trouble in the summer with everyone home. (My hubby works in a school), And I work all summer out of the house as well as try to write. The summer is very hard for me, totally guilt. I love school. It is the only time I can work and not feel guilty! I am with you!

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    1. I think the guilt factor has a lot to do with it. My daughter and husband hate when I'm on the computer. They want my attention and I feel guilty for working.

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    2. Kelly, I'm no parent, but as your friend, I have to say this. I don't know about your husband, but think from your daughter's perspective.

      Summer is her time to not be as bound to time as you are dividing family time and writing, especially now she'll be at school all day, and the shift from preschool or kindergarten to more academic heavy primary grades and beyond is not easy, even for kids who LOVE school, it's no less scary for kids to perform than parents being pressured to ensure they perform.

      Hope I'm not treading on sacred parental toes here, but I can understand how lots of kids must feel since my own strengths were rarely reflected in purely academic environments, so I'm just sensitive to what kids and teens go through in that regard, which has only gotten more intense since I was in school.

      The next time she gets frustrated with you working on the computer, try having a serious one-on-one talk with her. The sooner you do it before her first day, or first big test, the easier it might be.

      Just say something like, "My work will NEVER take your place, but it's something I can't give up forever anymore than you, you will always come first, but my writing has to be second, or a close third."

      As for your husband, not being married myself, all I can say is, if he knew how important writing was to you before you got married, he should know by now writing isn't "The other man" for lack of a better analogy.

      I think lots of parents (Not counting you, I "know" you too well to think that), and frankly teachers too, forget what it's like to be a kid in the sense that they're time is SOOO structured and monitored to the level of of paranoia IMHO, that summer is often the only chance many of them get to breathe.

      The more academically focused your family is, whatever the reason, the harder this pressure is to live with, and I believe strongly that pushing anyone (but especially kids) too hard in one aspect of their lives has the risk of doing more or as much harm emotionally to them as good in the long run.

      School is their job, but they don't get paid for it, and any fringe benefits (Making their own money, live on their own, etc) won't kick in for decades at best.

      For kids, this is the ultimate extreme of "Blind Faith" where you don't see the point now, but you will later, if that makes any sense.

      It gets harder and harder to live in the present when lack of prospects for one's future is looming over the world right now.

      Don't you think, Kelly?

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    3. I agree, Taurean. I tell my daughter that some moms have to go to work. I get to work from home, so she has more time with me. One of the reason it's so important for me to make it writing and editing is to be here for her. She understands that. We have to have that talk often to remind her though. :)

      My husband is very supportive; he just misses me when I'm on deadlines and have to spend so much time on the computer.

      As for grades, I just tell my daughter to do her best. She's very smart and loves to learn, but I don't want to put pressure on her. She's only 5 and I want her to enjoy school, not dread it because of grades.

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  7. Yup. Summer is always so tricky. I've found my writing schedule is totally off; I do much more work in the afternoons than in the mornings, for some reason. But whatever works, right? Good luck!

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  8. You and I will have to take one day to cry as our kids leave the nest, yours for kindergarden, mine for college, then get back on the writing track.

    My trick for dropping off the kids? Sunglasses! They work well, at least until the tears drip down your cheeks. :)

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I'll need to do that. I cry easily!

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  9. I wish I had a schedule. Maybe that's what I need.

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  10. Yes, a schedule is necessary! Summer is tough. I've had lots of family around, and travel, which is all good, but wreaks havoc with getting work done.

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  11. I always prefer to have a schedule! Sometimes it is nice to be off schedule for a while, but I work better when things follow a regular pattern. I need to get back into a schedule, too! Your upcoming schedule sounds dreamy. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. It does sound good—once I get over the missing my daughter part.

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  12. i feel crazy without a schedule. a list of goals for the day really helps me to focus.

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    1. Yes, I couldn't live without my daily planner. Well, I could but I'd go crazy.

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  13. I defintely prefer a writing schedule, but "circumstances beyond my control" have made that iffy most days. However, I'm doing better at slipping onto the computer and getting in some writing whenever I get the chance and did finally finish the first draft of my WIP!

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  14. On work days I usually write a little bit late at night or early in the morning, and then do the bulk of the work during weekends. I didn't have a schedule this summer since I was on vacation, but I wrote a lot, just at different times. I also caught up with many non-writing things, which is why I didn't have a schedule.

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    1. Whatever works for you. You get a lot done, so obviously no schedule doesn't stop you. :)

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  15. Your schedule is awesome. I've been thinking I'll need one too. There's so much I need to do.

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    1. I think it's worth a try if you don't use one now. I love it.

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  16. I don't have set time to write everyday because I work outside the home. Some days work is less manic than others, and when it is, I squeeze in writing. Mostly, I write at the end of my other job duties, work, mom, etc., but I add time in whenever I can. Since it's the only schedule I have ever had, it works for me. All I know is I write everyday. I do take my MacAir with me everywhere, vacations, etc., I don't break. I am leaving to take my daughter back to school in about ten days and I will write in the mornings and evenings. This trip is a little different. My second, takes place on the road to Santa Fe and Colorado and even though I've done the drip countless times, this journey I will be observing with my writer's eye. And there's a scene in historical landmark hotel. I don't usually stay there but I am this trip. It's kind of exciting, to be honest.

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    1. Sounds like you have some great trips planned. And I think writing every day is the key. It might not be set times, but your schedule is to fit time in every day. As I've said to a few others, whatever works! :)

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  17. Somehow, I got off my schedule and can't get back on it, but working around family does make it exceptionally hard to stay on track. I'm working out a new one too. Soon you'll have that whole morning to yourself. I remember those days. You'll love it.

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    1. I'll actually have until 2:50pm to myself. I'm a little scared of how much writing I'll get done.

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  18. Sorry to hear! Summer is always tricky. It's like one long party and you have to be the one guest who leaves early.

    It's smart that you're making sure to mix writing and editing at the same time. I get really bogged down mentally while editing. I bet holding yourself to writing new material each day keeps your mind fresh!

    I never thought about keeping a daily schedule, honestly, but it's a pretty good idea. Maybe I'll try it. Thanks, Kelly!

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    1. You're welcome. I hope the schedule works out for you.

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  19. Maybe it's just a break that will let you return to your regular schedule with fresh appreciation. Hope so.

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    1. I like that, Lee. Thanks. I choose to believe it is. :)

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  20. I write no new fiction during my kids' school breaks, because A. I need a break, and B. that scheduling thing...(We hear you.)
    I need to know I will have at least two uninterrupted hours 'in the zone.' Summer doesn't allow it.
    A planned break is much more productive than start-stopping and trying to do the impossible.

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    1. I hear you, Mirka. I've been revising, planning, editing, and writing short stories, but no drafting of a new novel because it's just not possible at the moment.

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  21. Summers are my worst season coz everyone is home, but when school starts, I'm determined to be more organized. You with your 4 finished WIPs inspired me

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    1. Thanks. I'm hoping for two more this year. I have a new WIP and a sequel in mind. :)

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  22. Congrats, Wendy!

    I definitely need a schedule. I've been so out of schedule right now it's been frustrating. I'm hoping that will get better.

    I've tagged you for an award, too, 'cause, yanno, you're AWESOME! :-)

    http://katrinadelallo.blogspot.com/2012/08/thanks-for-being-you-award.html

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    1. Thanks, Cat! You're so sweet. <3

      Your schedule being off is totally understandable. You've been busy.

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  23. On the days that I'm not working I always write from about 12 until 5pm. Most of my ideas arrive in the morning and if I tried to write before my self-allotted slot, it just wouldn't work. Mainly because those devil dogs that never shut upon the other side of the garden fence are away on their daily walk. So if I'm to change then it's not looking good for those noisy canines.

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    1. 12-5? Wow, I'm jealous. Come September I'll be writing all morning. It shall be glorious!

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  24. Right there with you, Kelly. Much as I love having people (kids) home, it is really hard to find regular writing time. I find myself using the wee hours, which I don't like to do. Good luck to you until the end of August!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I've done the late writing too. Since I get up at 6am every morning (my daughter is a morning person) the late hours can really take a toll on me.

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  25. I probably should schedule myself, but I've found that if I create a schedule and then don't stick to it, I beat myself up over it. Life is crazy! I try to keep myself adaptable.

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    1. I'm very hard on myself. I try to stick to my schedule. But some things on it can be flexible and I know that when I schedule them.

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  26. Typically I write at night due to the full-time job. I'm not super dedicated, especially if I'm not working hard on a project.

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    1. I'm usually dedicated to the extreme. I can be really hard on myself. I think that's why not having a schedule right now is really throwing me off. LOL

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  27. Right now, the bulk of my writing happens in fits and starts and it's driving me crazy. I like the idea of dedicating time to specific tasks. I need to give this a try!

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