A Stitch in Time…or however the hell that goes…

So I’m supposed to be having this stellar writing day. The kids are back in school (happy dance!) and now I can be one of those mythological creatures: a *productive writer*. I have so many things on my writing to-do list it resembles a page from a phone book: everything from posting (this counts), to working on smaller writing projects, to editing my novel (haven’t even cracked it open and it’s nearing 2:00), and a slew of non-writing to-do’s.

I thought – no brainer. Kids are gone by 8:00. I’ll dabble online, finish a few little things, work on a short story, then lunch, then edit for 3 solid hours.

That
did
not
happen.

Where did the time go? Did I really just lose an entire day? I answered emails and tweets, made a few tweaks to my blog, and all the sudden it’s well past lunchtime! And I think I ate – but I’m not really sure – it’s all sort of hazy. There’s a blop of dried salsa on my sock and chip remnants near the couch. What kind of lunch is that? OH GOD, What else did I eat?

My sink is full, my laundry’s overflowing, I haven’t showered, the dog isn’t walked, and I’ve accomplished no errands. I’VE HAD ALL DAY. Oh, crap, I just realized I forgot (again) to take something out for dinner. Meat can thaw in an afternoon, right? I’m good, I’m good.

The takeaway here is NOT that mass amounts of salsa results in chin acne (but it does), it’s that I need a schedule. (you thought I was gonna say a shower, didn’t you?) Yes. A new, bright, shiny writing schedule. I can’t fall into the abyss of emails and tweets for 3 hours anymore. And editing is my priority – it HAS to come FIRST.

Okay, ready gang? Tomorrow – PRODUCTIVE WRITER: Take 2!

Do you have a writing schedule that helps you stay on task? If so, PLEASE SHARE!

**Why didn’t you remind me to take the meat out! I still haven’t done it. Honestly, you are no help sometimes…

9 comments

  1. Totally get the ‘where’d all my time go’ thing! (And taking meat out to thaw. That’s a daily challenge) My trick, that works half the time, is to get editing and writing done first. Only after those are done do I touch email and social media. Good luck with the new, shiny schedule=)

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too (editing/writing first, before distractions take it away). So – just for fun and for the sake of writing it down – here is my shiny new schedule:
      1. walk dog.
      2. EAT. (not the dog. breakfast. if I don’t put this on a list I will skip it.)
      3. shower if I didn’t the night before (sad that I have to list that, but you’d be amazed what I’ll put off…)
      4. edit/write until lunch. EAT.
      5. take care of any to-do’s and/or social media until time to pick up kids.

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  2. I was doing really good for a while, but since I moved into a new house, the ol’ schedule got shot. I find myself staying up later to finish my tasks for the day, and that leads to not getting started early. Now that summer is almost over, I too have decided it’s time to get with the program!

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    1. Oh yeah, a move can throw things off big-time!! Congrats on the new place though! Exciting! I hope you’re able to get settled in and recover your writing schedule ASAP. 🙂

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  3. Totally laughing our butts off, as we go through the exact same thing, Beth. At times, days have passed and we’ve realized we haven’t slept, haven’t showered, dishes are piling up and WWIII’s broken out. LOL Facebook is a major kryptonite for Mathair, but editing seems to be what keeps both of us holed up in our writing room AKA (my bedroom). Thankfully, my little brother and grandmother keep us grounded in reality and try to remind us to take bathroom breaks… and eat…. and bathe… and pay bills. Great post, sweetie. We’d love to give you some advice, but it’s not something we’ve mastered either.

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    1. Relieved to know I’m not the only unshowered, unorganized writer just trying to find more hours in the day! I totally get now why writers are always portrayed in movies as red-eyed, disheveled slobs….and that’s on a good day.

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  4. I wondered how writers schedule their time, if they have a set schedule or when the mood strikes. I know if I try and just sit and write for the blog I hit a wall. I usually think of wierdness to write when I am doing mundane things like showering, working around the house, etc. and then it just gets stuck in my mind so I try to let it out the best I can. I also am very bad at proofing and rough drafts for any blog post, I tend to spew and publish and fix later (maybe).

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  5. I think everyone is different, but you have to set the time to write it when you have it in your head, ya know? I find most of my inspiration comes when I’m doing mundane things (running, housework, driving), too, but I need boxed out hours to write or I’ll never have time to get it down. Blog posts don’t take as much time, of course, but “blogging” is very time consuming, if you know what I mean (all that’s involved). Writing fiction is a part/full time job (depending where I’m at in the process) for me on top of blogging, so between the two of them I need a schedule or dinners don’t get made, housework doesn’t get done, etc. because I also have the job of homemaker/SAHM. It doesn’t always distribute evenly or gracefully – but I try. 🙂

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