Friday, August 17, 2012

Lost in Time

I've heard some writers say they use a timer to keep them on track and working on one manuscript for a specified amount of time. It's supposed to help with writer's block and with meeting word count goals. Well, I have a different problem. I get lost in my manuscripts. So much so that I completely lose track of time.

A couple weekends ago, my husband had to point out the time because we were going out and I had lost the entire morning proofreading the galley for Touch of Death. I was so into the characters and story that I didn't realize the morning was over. When my daughter was in pre-K last year, I had to set the timer so I wouldn't lose track of time and wind up late to pick her up. 

And the funny thing about time is there's never enough. Even when my daughter starts full-day kindergarten, I'm sure I'll fill the day with no problem. I don't know if I'll ever get past this time issue.

How about you? Do you find yourself losing track of time when you write or do you need the timer to keep you writing?

60 comments:

  1. I have this problem at the moment, because I am working full-time and only getting to sit down and write at about 9pm. I say I'm going to do an hour or 2 at most because I have to be up early and alert for work ... but the next time I look at the clock it's 1 in the morning and I am so engrossed I can't stop ...

    This does not make for productive work days, that is for sure!

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    1. I've been there. I don't know what your day job is but I hope is doesn't get too negatively impacted by your late nights writing.

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  2. YES!!! all the time (sic).There is 'time' and 'writers' time' (I think it's called being in the zone).Sometimes, if I get interrupted by a caller, it is almost like waking up - I can't quite focus on which world I'm in. Consoling to know one is not alone. And yeah- you will fill the time to overflowing when your daughter starts kindergarten. Believe me. X

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    1. You take phone calls when you write? I ignore the world. LOL. I guess I can't do that once I have those 6 hours to write. Or maybe I can.l ;)

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  3. I hear you! My hubby has to tell me, too, so I can get to what's next. I squeeze my writing in here and there so I'm constantly interrupted anyway.

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    1. Sorry to hear you are interrupted a lot. I hope you find some uninterrupted time to lose yourself in your writing.

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  4. I have the same situation as Unpublished Life. It's almost like trying to get homework done on a "school night," where I know I have to be in bed at a certain time. The nights that I stay up writing until 1AM or so, I find that I wake up feeling energized, despite the fact that I only got few hours of sleep.

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    1. Well that's good then. Feeling energized even after staying up late. I wish I was that way.

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  5. The time thing doesn't go away later in life either. When you get older, losing track of time is a really big thing. We don't have enough time it seems. So, if I lose just a little, I become frustrated at myself. It's probably the number one reason I can't finish anything! I may just have to invest in a timer.

    At least you are productive, Kelly! :D

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    1. It is frustrating. I know what you mean.

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  6. Definitely! When I am writing, I have no concept of time. Three hours goes by in a heartbeat.

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  7. I believe this is a good problem to have! I wish I had more time to get lost. In February I started setting time aside on the calendar (not my style to be such a planner) so that I can make sure I get my writing time in on top of a full-time job and parenthood.

    I'm excited for next week, though - my annual "writing retreat" up north - three days of no work, no kids while I tag along to a conference my husband attends.

    Can't wait to hear how your days change with your little one at kindergarten! Mine starts this year, too. :)

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    1. Ooh fun! Have a great time and get a lot of writing done. :)

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  8. There is never enough time in a day to do all the things I love! I often wonder how people do it. And time really does go the the fasts when I'm on the computer. Three hours feels like 5 minutes. Ugh!

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    1. Yes, 3 hours does feel like 5 minutes. Crazy, isn't it?

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  9. I have the same problem you have, Kelly. I get lost in writing and completely lose track of time. I totally get setting a timer to tell me when to *come out* from my writing!

    Setting a timer to force word count would never work with me. If I'm stuck, it's because I'm tired or need more free-thinking time. If the words aren't coming, it's probably for the same reason. (I also draft new words better at night. That's just the way it is.) So unless it's Hermione Granger's timeturner and can transport me to the correct place and time for productivity, it will do me no good at all!

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  10. I lose track of time! Sometimes I am stunned at how much time has passed. Also- I agree- there is never enought time to do everything. I want Hermione's time turner :)
    ~Jess

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  11. I've experienced both, but I do tend to lose track of time. This is one reason I don't like a loaded schedule, because feeling "I can't lose track of time!" or "A timer is going to go off and jar me out of my seat!" can keep me from really "letting go" and sinking down into the story.

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    1. Yeah, the time can add pressure. I see what you mean.

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  12. I have the same problem and it can be super annoying when you don't want the time to go by fast. I get some writing in before work, lose track of time and end up having to run out of my apartment so I won't be late.

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  13. I lose the track of time whatever I'm doing. :) Writing, translating, reading, cooking... All the time. I have to watch out so the lunch doesn't become a midnight snack.

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  14. Happens to me only with first-drafts, and it's *the best* feeling there is, because the focus is almost intoxicating. Hooray to writing!

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    1. First drafts are the biggest culprits for me too. It's so intoxicating.

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  15. I am always surprised how quickly time flies when I am writing, even when I don't want to write because I'm tired, have had a long day in the office, and would rather get lost in a movie. I drag weary body to my bed, flip open the Mac, breathe deep Yoga breaths and tell myself, OK, you only have to write 500 words. Pretty soon, I've round the corner on 1500, and think... Wow, how the heck did that happen. So yes, I can get lost. I am exhausted this month because of this self imposed deadline to finish the first draft of my new WIP by month end. I keep asking myself why I am doing it. Since I can't answer myself continue to write, although everything else is falling behind, reading, commenting, living. Such is life.

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    1. Yeah, that's what happens. Writing just takes over sometimes.

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  16. It is a good problem to have--I think it means your concentration is really good. Been grumpy lately because the WIP is a slog at the moment. Minutes drag by as I make small decisions. Today, though, working on a short essay, time became elastic again, both compressed and stretched. I didn't lose it. Yay!

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  17. If I'm free to write all day, time flies by. It'll be the afternoon when I think it's still morning.

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    1. I have a feeling this is what's going to happen to me.

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  18. Hi! Thanks for the follow! You have a great site, will enjoy reading your updates... new follower. :)

    Christine
    Rainy Day Reads
    www.rainydayreads.com

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  19. I always lose track - could write and do writing related things with every minute of my spare time! What I have to set a timer for is to remind me to get up and stretch or after several hours, I end up looking like the hunchback of Notre Writer, all bunched and hunched over the keyboard!

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    1. LOL. Yeah, I've been there. I had to stop writing on the couch because my back was suffering. Now I sit in a wooden chair at my dining room table. Better for my posture.

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  20. Yes, very few are good in time management. But, we can try and change...Practice makes us perfect :)

    You got excellent blog, enjoyed reading here.

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    1. Thank you! I'm much better at time management during the school year.

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  21. I sometimes have the opposite problem. I have such a rough time with the ms that I'm out of the chair every five minutes, making coffee or whatever, or else I'm going online to check my emails and forums.

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    1. I think that's where being a planner helps me. I don't have many moments where I can figure out what to write. My planning saves me.

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  22. I spend my lunch hour at work writing. It sucks because I only have an hour, but it's great because I push to do as much as I can.

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    1. Yeah, I can see how that's good motivation.

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  23. I'm right there with you. Days have vanished and my guy will call and ask what is for dinner...oops!

    At least we are loving what we do :)

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    1. Yes, loving what you do is worth so much. :)

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  24. I love that feeling of losing yourself in your writing. It's a bit like reading--I get lost in the world, and forget about the one I'm actually living in. I think that's essential to writing great fantasy! You can only write a believable world if you get sucked into it. Congrats on having longer days to yourself and your craft.

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    1. Thanks, Kiersi, and I completely agree. It's a great feeling, except for when you come out of the time bubble and think, "Oh no! I'm supposed to be at____" LOL

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    2. I have that problem regardless HAHA

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  25. My time seems to get lost through reading blogs lately. Oh dear, I want to cut back on that and lose myself more in the revision of my MG manuscript!

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    1. I set specific time aside for reading blogs so I don't interfere with my writing time.

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  26. I do frequently lose track of time while writing or editing... and it seems there's never enough time to begin with.

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  27. I wish I had enough time to set a timer! I'm usually writing as much as I can in the little time I have between playing with my son, getting ready for work, and doing work around the house. I do lose track of time on occasion, and am late for work or "forget" to mow the lawn. I certainly don't have trouble forcing myself to write.

    I'm in the same boat as you: my son starts Kindergarten this fall, and I am definitely looking forward to it! I've even considered going part-time at work, just so I can focus on writing. We shall see what happens...

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    1. I'm dreading it, though. I'm really going to miss her. :( I know my writing will benefit from the extra time, though.

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  28. Hi Kelly, I can't believe how quickly time flies when I'm engrossed in writing/ editing my novel. I find a timer useful when I've been away from writing and I need to get back into it. Setting the timer for 10-20 minutes and sitting at my computer really helps and the next day I want to write again.

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    1. Yeah, I find the more I write, the more I want to write. It's addictive. :)

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  29. I could never use a timer. I concentrate so hard that when it went off, it would scare the bejeebers out of me. I do lose track of time when I'm writing or editing.

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