Pulled in So Many Directions

Last night, I got to attend the After Dark signing with Leah, Courtney Allison Moulton, and Lisa Desrochers. The panel and signing went well, and then we got to go out to dinner.  And at one point during the evening, a conversation I had with someone really stuck with me.

We were talking about how different authors operate, and how you manage everything that’s on your plate.  Like for me, right now, I’m working from home and doing the writer thing full time (more on that in a minute).  But other people work the full time day job, have a family, go to school, and write in their free time.  And then here I am, talking about how I don’t have any extra time on my plate.

So how do you do it?  I think the easy answer is “you make time.”  But that’s easier said than done, especially when you have a family.  Or so I’ve been lead to believe.  I know people who write during the day when their kids are in school, or during naptime.  I know someone who used to wake up an hour before her alarm so she could get some writing in.  And a few people who burn the midnight oil if they have to.

And it’s not just writing.  Right now, I have about a million different things to do, and instead of doing any of them, I’m writing this blog post.  Procrastination through blogging!  A new favorite past time!  I have copyedits to finish (almost done), a bunch of emails to respond to, two novels I should be working on, two guest blogs I promised to do, one interview for right now, and several for a blog tour down the road.  I also need to find a job (oh the joy), take the luggage I borrwed back to my parents,  and run to the post office.

Now, I can let this massive list of far too much stuff overwhelm me, in which case, I won’t get any of it done.  Or I can break it up into pieces (which is what I normally do).  I’m a big list person, and I love crossing things off on my list.  So that’s another option.  Sometimes, I even bargain with myself – I’ll get this done, and then I can have a reward.

All in all, it’s not easy.  But there are Cheddar Bay biscuits from Red Lobster in the fridge, and I’m going to snack on one while I try to figure out where to  start.

What about you?  How do you manage your writing career?

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4 thoughts on “Pulled in So Many Directions

  1. I always just assume I have to do writing, so even if I only have 5 minutes free, my brain immediately kicks into writing gear. If you set a precedent, then hopefully you can maintain it. The problem is the inconsistency of life, it can be hard to constantly juggle a schedule.

    • I think this is the best way to do it, at least for me. When I get into the first draft mindset, I don’t allow myself to take a day off. I give myself a word goal every day, and either try to surpass that, or surpass what I did the day before. But it’s definitely hard to juggle your writing around the rest of your life, I totally agree.

  2. I have to preface with: I’m not a morning person.
    But when I’m in full-writer-mode, I’ll force myself up extra early, before the distractions of life can rub the sleep from their eyes. I close the door and swear myself to three or four hours of writing. After, I’ll cram the rest of the day in. I feel like I have to do it first, otherwise everything else gets in the way. And there’s always a lot of “everything else.”

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