Adventures in Time Management

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In my own little corner, in my own little chair.

After a week of experimenting with the write-before-the-rest-of-my-life-starts-for-the-day, I am happy to report it’s working! I was struggling to get 500 words written a week. Like struggling. Like knowing my computer was judging me as I clicked the next episode of Buffy. End of the day is just so exhausting and needs so much more effort to do one more thing before letting myself relax. Even though, when I have all the time in the world, I much prefer writing in the afternoons and evenings. But! Back to the point, I wrote nearly 2500 words last week!

I started out great, with about 750 words on Monday, and slowly decreased over the weeks. I am going to attribute this to several (okay, three) things. First, growing exhaustion as the week moves on and my stash of extra sleep from the weekend is depleted. Second, the gaping hole in my kitchen from a cracked pipe in my upstairs neighbor’s bathroom (I can make it rain indoors at the moment. Magic!) and all of the crap that needed to be dealt with with that, like procuring a bucket and cleaning up the water on the floor. At least it wasn’t the full on flood we had to deal with (twice) when we first moved in. Third, editing and reorganizing sections of my story. It needed to be done. The consistency of working on my draft is keeping my characters close, whereas before they would come close and move far away and their stories and personalities were much more opaque than they are at 7 o’clock in the morning, five days a week.

Another step I took that I think really made a difference is how I scheduled my time. I have tried scheduling appointments with my characters, but that approach really didn’t work for me. It didn’t feel like a real appointment, and I moved it around or missed my appointments all the time. I scheduled this time as “You Get To Write!” I don’t want my writing to feel like a chore, and with my other life revolving around meetings, my creative time needs to feel serious but in a different way. I need it to feel like it is my time, that I choose to sit down for this hour, that I get up for me. Appointments do the opposite for me.

So, the experiment goes on. For now, I will keep waking up, mainlining coffee, writing for an hour, and then head off into the other parts of my life. If past is prologue, at some point my brain will rebel against routine, and I will jump in to another experiment, probably with a lot of whining, which I will endeavor to keep off of this blog (mostly).

Dear readers, do you have these same time management issues? How do you approach them? What are your blocks to getting your butt in the chair, fingers on the keyboard or pen to paper?

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