Friday, August 13, 2010

Schedules

By Heather

When I first started writing, I had three kids, ages 6, 4, and 2. Somehow I managed to write a 450 page book in two months while being a full-time mom.

How?

Because they had a strict schedule. And because they had a strict schedule, I had a strict schedule. My writing time was limited, and I made the most of it.

When they napped, I wrote. When they watched a Disney movie, I wrote (yes, sometimes they watched more than one day—I was a desperate-to-be-published writer!), and when they went to bed at night, I wrote.

Fast forward many, many years later and I find myself the mom of three teenagers who don’t need so much watching over. My time has been mostly my own for quite a while now. And what has happened? My productivity has plummeted.

I know this has everything to do with not having a strict schedule. In my head I have all the time in the world to get my pages done. It’s okay if I spend a little extra time online, if I watch a repeat of Top Chef before I start my pages, if I take a day off to clean out closets… The reasoning—the excuses—go on and on. And it needs to stop.

So, I’ve decided to try out a schedule to see how I do, starting with baby steps. It began yesterday.

It, ah, went okay. I did really well until it came to the actual writing time. I had two blogs I needed to get done ASAP, so I had to work on those first. When they were done, I was a bit zapped of creativity. So, I decided to go to Kroger. And, ah, clean the bathroom.

Baby steps, though. I need to keep that in mind. I will try to do a little more writing today and try, try again tomorrow…

How about you? Are you a stick-to-a-schedule kind of person?

13 comments:

~ Babs ~ said...

I try to stick to a schedule I have 3 boys 13, 7 and 11 moths old and with school start Monday it is going to be interesting to see how things work out. I hope to have more time to get some writing done and get more reading done.

Heather hope it works out baby steps are always good.

mary in MO said...

Since I FINALLY got some interest from the important people who help get books published (aka Agent) I have been trying to get a better schedule going. Aim for the time between when I get up and others do.
So far pretty good!
Have managed to get something done during that quiet time, just need more of it!

Andrea C. said...

I have found that if I don't have a schedule I feel unproductive and depressed. Routine is good for me - eventhough I enjoy a break from it every once in a while, it needs to be a short break - for the sake of my mental health!

tonya kappes said...

That is why I can't wait for my kiddos to go back to school. We have NO schedule and it's driving me crazy and my writing has suffered....ugh! Good luck on your new schedule!

Linda Leszczuk said...

I still haven't found a way to schedule my writing time instead of trying to fit it in after the other claims on my time are done.

Good luck on those baby steps.

Dru said...

I live for my routine, knowing what I'll most likely be doing during the day.

Baby steps is the way to go.

Good luck with your writing.

debbie said...

Again, it must be a Virgo thing.....

I just finished an online class so my time is my own again (sort of). My next class starts in October and I've gotten a whole lot of house cleaning and organizing and donating accomplished. With 3 kidlets ages 12, 10 and 5 and NO schedule, I'm ready to pull out my hair. The school year needs to start, pronto!

Rural View said...

Your kids got older, I retired, same result. I find my time gets eaten up by doing exactly what I'm doing right this minute, and reading. The first thing you know the day is gone and I haven't written a word. Sept. usually inspires me to be more productive - I hope!

Linda McDonald said...

I love the idea of a schedule. Especially of a writing routine where my productivity soars! Do I currently have a schedule? NOPE! And now I am only working at a job part time, so I have a lot more available time in my day. Your post reminds me that I really do need to make a schedule. Maybe I'll work on that today....unless of course, something else like cleaning, or walking the dog, etc comes up. :)

Heather Webber said...

Seems most of us agree that schedules are a good thing. The hard part, I think, is getting them in place.

Day 2 was better for me. Not so distracted. Got five pages written. Now the rest of the day is free. This is part of my baby-step plan. Morning is regimented--afternoons are free for alls. :)

Helen Kiker said...

I am not one for schedules so it is lucky that I am retired and do not have a boss that expects me to arrive on time & to complete assignments.

I do have a few things that I do on a regular basis which might seem like organization - watering house plants, filling prescription reminder boxes and attending senior citizen events but I really do not count those because I cannot be fired if I do not do them on the assigned days.

Helen Kiker
hdkiker@comcast.net

Vickie said...

Left to my own devices, I putter.
I don't have a schedule unless it is to get Lady K and me to bed at 8pm and get up at 0600 for work and school.

If I worked from home, I'd be lost. I am the queen of the procrastinators for anything that sounds like work, therefore not fun.
Admitting it is the first step to recovery...but I'll think about that tomorrow...

Susan said...

It takes a while to not be a scheduled person,if you have for most of your Adult Life..But Life has changed and I am much more "Laid back: so to speak..A touch of OCD...which I think everyone has lol..Heather I do not want finish "Deeply,Desperately.".Just letting you know,Loving every Page and have decided tonight is the night..See you on the 30th..GREAT Writing,and each pg a new beginning..Feb2011..Soo far Away..