Friday, April 4, 2008

Finding the time and filling the well

Maven Carrie RyanSorry for the late posting. I am lame and not good when I'm outside of a schedule. Thank goodness the other Mavens are on the ball and prodded me a bit :)

And then thinking about just how much I rely on schedules has made me ponder time management. It's something I've been thinking about a lot recently as I've gone through an up-tick of time spent at work. People ask all the time how writers find the time to write and usually my response is that I give up a lot of other stuff. I don't watch a lot of television, I don't spend a lot of time just lounging around reading magazines or napping or whatnot. And I'm not going to lie, sometimes I come home from a long day at work and flomp on the couch and wonder what it would be like not to have multiple jobs. What it would be like to be *done* at the end of the day. Maybe I'd have a hobby. Maybe I'd paint again or do yard work. Who knows?

But I do know that the busier I am, the more focused I become. For the last few weeks I've been really busy at work, I've been walking the puppy twice a day, I've been cooking every once and a while. So I really honestly only have about 1 free hour a day and more and more I've found myself sitting down in front of my computer. Whereas days when I have a few more free hours (ahem... like the weekend) I usually put off picking up the computer. It's like when I don't have a lot of free time, I don't even have time to procrastinate or to come up with excuses not to write. It's just bam-bam-bam -- one activity to the next!

And once I find that routine and that schedule, I start to feel comfortable in it because I don't have to think "hmmm... what should I do next." And clearly, as my late post today shows, when that schedule goes wonky, I go wonky :)

Of course, I'm still a believer that your life can't be all about work, no matter how many jobs you have. As writers we have to find time to fill those creative wells. We have to spend time actually living! For me, the release has been walking. Taking the time to be in fresh air and admire the spring trees (of course spring weather would also be nice!). To just *be* for a moment watching the dog take pleasure in the smallest things (sticks, birds, smells).

How do balance writing time and life? And what are your tricks for filling the creative wells?

PS Our friends at the Romance Vagabonds nominated the Mavens last week for an Excellence in Blogging award, which we thought was pretty darned cool (not to mention flattering). The "rules" for this award are that the recipient, in accepting said honor, shall nominate ten other blogs for the same award. Since there are five of us, however, we thought we'd split up the task amongst ourselves, and each of us award to two blogs we particularly enjoy.My two nominations go to:

Diana Peterfreund -- I always learn so much from this blog.
Sarah Prineas -- she's running a week long blog on publicity which I think is very informative!


Jackie Barbosa said...

Wow, such a timely post, since I am doing such a phenomenal job at the moment of NOT using my time well!

I'm honestly not sure I know what balance IS. I tend to vacillate between brief periods of intense activity and long periods of doing very little (I like to call those periods "percolation time," lol).

For the most part, this modality seems to work for me, but it does lead to mania and panic on occasion. I really should try to pace myself better. But I honestly have no idea how to achieve that!

Darcy Burke said...

But I do know that the busier I am, the more focused I become.

This is me to a tee, Maven Carrie. I'm purposely not writing right now as I let the first draft of Her Wicked Ways simmer and I think about my next couple of books. I have plenty to keep me busy (all that stuff I ignore when I'm furiously writing), but unless I have lots to do (read: borderline overwhelmed), I'm much more inclined to procrastolate.

I've read more blogs this week than in the past two months combined, I'm sure.

Carrie said...

Well, I also believe that you have to find what works for you and sometimes that's having huge bursts of work and then some lulls to recoup. That's how I wrote FHT!

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