Sunday, January 16, 2011

New year...new commitment.

Hey, everyone.  I've emerged from my cave and I've decided the blog gets one last shot at life.  I will do this by posting once a week.  I'm thinking Sunday mornings, since I'm usually up at the crack of dawn while the rest of the house snoozes. And if I have to set reminders on my calendar to make sure the post gets done, that's what I'll do.

If this is going to be successful, it's going to be because of a routine.  You'll notice I didn't say anything about not having enough time.  I have time.  What I don't have right now is structure.

Routines helped me survive the years when my children were small and I was teaching full time.  By getting into a routine, the kids knew what to expect, and even better, my husband and I knew that week to week, we had things under control.

From doing grocery shopping on Friday nights to knowing Monday night we were having pizza for dinner, the predictability made our busy lives easier.  I do believe I need to get back to routines even though I don't have the little kids anymore.  When I slip into schedule chaos, I get nothing done.  I get frustrated and stressed, and right now, since there's a lot going on (family, work, school play, local RWA stuff, writing...) I need predictability.

So tonight we're having a sit down and we're going to figure out how to make life more manageable.  It can be done.  If I could do it when I had three children under the age of five, a full time job and a demanding graduate school program, I can certainly do it now.

So what about you?  How do you find time to write amid all the other things life throws at you?

16 comments:

  1. I'm a creature of habit, and I function better with a routine, too. If I have too much time on my hands (rare, but it happens), I tend to OVER-think my goals, and they become daunting. I wind up spinning my wheels. The balance of being busy enough that I just have to dive in and DO, instead worrying about how I'm going to do it, is what works best for me.

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  2. I work Monday through Thursday. After I put the little one to bed I make it a point to write for 45 minutes. (Which is tough, especially when I just want to zone out and watch bad bravo reality TV)

    On my days off I use her nap time.

    Chaos usually = my house is a mess. Giving the closets, the pantry & the medicine cabinets a once over usually helps me to feel less chaotic. It make me feel like I have control again.

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  3. I'd meant to start writing years ago, but never seemed to find the time. Until one day I realized my dream wouldn't happen unless I determined to "make" the time.

    I read Ken Atchity's book "A Writer's Time," then tracked for a week how I spend my time. I cut out evening tv and neurotic housecleaning.

    After six months of fits and starts, I finally fell into a schedule where I write three evenings during the work week for a minimum of two hours each and at least one full day on the weekend.

    I also wrote immediate, intermediate, long-term, and ultimate goals for myself. I check back on my goal progress every few months to keep on track.(This really works to keep me motivated when that self-doubt creeps in...)

    A year ago I'd never have imagined I'd be one-third of the way through my first book. I also credit joining my local RWA chapter as one of the single smartest career moves I could have made (one of my intermediate goals!). I love being with people who share my passion for great literature and being successful writers.

    I remind myself often...A journey begins with a single step.

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  4. I found time the same way you did--by making a schedule. I blocked out Sunday and Monday afternoons, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Friday evening for writing. Wednesday and Saturday are marked as days off. (Even writers need those!) I'm still working at getting up on time on Tuesday and Thursday, but I'm making progress.

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  5. Linda-I'm hoping the routine has the desired effect. I feel mentally disorganized.

    Lisa and Lisa-Small goals are perfect for staying on track. Baby steps.

    Nancy the schedule is so important. That's what I'm going to be doing.

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  6. Oh I wish I could make myself a schedule.
    But usually I work like this:
    Day One: Stay up really late and write.
    Day Two: Can't stay really late because I have a major headache and I'm soooo sleeepy.
    Day three: Stay up really late and write...
    And so on.
    But come to think about it, that IS kind of a schedule, right? LOL

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  7. Hey Jeannie...One of my New Years resolutions was to blog regularly and to make time to write. So far...it has worked, even though the kids have been out of school for snow. I do, however, make it a point to remind myself that sometimes LIFE just gets in the way and there are things that will alter your intentions and goals, AND THAT'S OKAY. We just have to do the best we can and be as dedicated as possible...for ourselves.

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  8. In the words of a famous ad slogan, Just Do It.

    I work 8:30 to 5:30 every day. I use my lunch hour to work out. I teach religion once a week. I have the house, the husband, the kids and the responsibilities that go along with them.

    I write every day, after dinner. For me, that means giving up TV time and that's fine. Fingers that are busy typing mean I don't snack like I do in front of the TV.

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  9. Monica--I do that sometimes, but I can't go without sleep too much or the writing doesn't make sense! (Especially as I get..ahem...older.)

    Charissa--I'm setting realistic goals. That's all. You're right. That's all we can do.

    Patty--I hear you. When the kids were small and I was in Library School and working, routines worked. I'm going to do that again. I'm going to schedule everything and divvy up responsibilities. Tonight it started. Julie is taking on dinner on Monday nights. I need to stay focused.

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  10. yay! welcome back!

    i too am a creative of habit and work best with a strict schedule. that said, i'm still working out my schedule, so for now, i remain a bit scatterbrained and stressed and worried about the words that remain in my brain and not on the page.

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  11. It's nice to see you back! My kids are still young (13 and 10), so routine still governs our lives. Our calendar on the fridge rules our lives, but it keeps things structures. When I'm not structures, I get nothing done.

    I look forward to reading your Sunday posts!

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  12. Hey Julie and Abby--It's good to be back and to have a plan. Let's hope I can stick with it.

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  13. So glad to see you back. We missed you.

    During the winter our schedule is not as rigid. But then again, we are not boating. Things can slide until the weekend, but during the summer? All bets are off. Monday is laundry night. Tuesday is grocery night. Wed is clean the house night and Thursday is finish clean the house night. Friday we get everything ready for our weekend of boating. So that when Saturday dawns bright and beautiful we can be the first ones down to the dock in order to head out into the wide blue yonder. Man I love summer. Now I can't wait.

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  14. Jeannie,

    I don't know what made me think to visit your blog, but I'm glad that you're posting again! New year, new footing. I hope you still find time for your writing. The only writing I do is reflective, but I make sure it happens whenever I can (i.e. 8th period on Friday, on a piece of computer paper, sitting in a student desk and watching the snow blow around outside). Things will fall into their grooves once again. :)

    ~Emily

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  15. I blog a lot - probably more than I should ;) - but I use it as a warm up to get my fingers going and to clear out the extra voices in my head.

    Looking forward to more posts! :)

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  16. Lovely post it is! Keep blogging!

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