Tag Archives: writing time

Moving forward…making changes

I ended 2018 exhausted.

How’s that for an opening line, eh?

But it’s true. From November 4th until December 12th I had three brand new books released and was so wrapped up in promoting them, doing book tours, and fulfilling all my blog obligations to myself and other authors, that I had no time to truly enjoy the releases as I’d done with past  ones. The circumstances that led to 3 books at one time ( plus my inclusion in a Holiday Anthology) was a perfect storm of creativity, publisher time schedules, and the season-specific stories I wrote.

That this all came to fruition around the busiest time – typically – of the year for me was another factor in my fatigue- both mental and physical. I can probably even add spiritual. By the time January 1 rolled around I wanted a redo on the previous month.

 

Well, since I don’t have a time machine, we all know that wasn’t gonna happen.

With 2019, I decided to switch things up a little bit for me, career-wise. I currently have no books on the publishing schedule for 2019. I know that’s gonna change at least once, as soon as I finish book 2 in my bridal series, but that’s it. And that’s horrible. The reason I’ve got nothing going into production is because I spread myself too thin and too wide in 2018. I blogged 5-6 times per week, plus did numerous blog tours for all my books. In addition  I attended 5 conferences and all the travel that went along with them and amped up my Netgalley reviews. The daily social media promotion that went along with all those books – because you gotta sell ’em – also wore me down. In the long run, all of that etched away at my personal writing time.

Before 2018 I used to write a minimum of 1000 words every morning before I did the adulting stuff that needed tending to like laundry, exercise, etc. I stopped doing that in 2018 and started letting life and business and other things intrude on that writing goal. Not anymore.

With the New Year comes a new attitude and desire to get myself back to doing what I love more than anything: write.

Simply, write.

So. Now, there have been a few changes made:

  1. I’m only blogging 2-3 times per week MAX! Promise
  2. I’m cutting down on my netgalley “asks” and trying to get just one book per week read and reviewed.
  3. I’ve gone back to that 1000 word minimum before I leave the house.
  4. I write all my blogs on Sunday now ( just like I am right now) so all I have to do is schedule them and let them fly.
  5. I’m attending 2 conference this year instead of 5 – RWA in NYC in July and Fall In Love in New England in October.

I’m not abandoning my writing sistahs in all this. If they have a new book releasing or a sale going on, I will continue to promote them because I fully believe our strength lies in our commitment to one another, so no worries there.

But, I’m taking Peggy writing time seriously. Like, wicked seriously.

 

Find your bliss today, peeps, and let your beauty shine.

And you know I’m always here, so no worries on that front, either:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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Where do you find the time to write?

I get asked this question a lot. A LOT.

I think it’s because I work outside the home, then I take care of my family, plus I have hobbies such as painting and cooking.

Writing requires a great deal of time and commitment to get it to come out just right. But so does painting, cooking, taking care of loved ones, and working outside the home.

It’s all about time management.

When I worked as nurse I had fifteen patients every day to care for. Bathing, feeding, administering medications, in addition to interacting with the doctors about the patient’s care, the families, the ancillary services and departments, all were required on a daily basis, and hundreds more I can’t even begin to remember. Back then, overtime was frowned upon and if you couldn’t get all your care and tasks done in your 8-hour shift, you were looked at by the powers that be to see if you needed to be retrained, demoted or fired.

Luckily, I was never any of those because from the get-go I learned how to manage my day accordingly. The most important tasks were done first. Sometimes, this changed daily, or even hourly, but I always started with the most time sensitive and important tasks. Then I went down the line to the ones that required less immediate responses.

This always worked for me and the only time I ever had overtime was when every one else did too: during Code Blue emergencies.

I write in exactly the same mindset.

If you’ve read any of my past posts, you know I’m a plotter, not a panst-er. First thing I do is come up with an idea, then the characters, then I set the plot out in a very detailed synopsis. Once that prep work is done, I start writing the story, but just like when I worked in nursing, I prepare for emergencies: in this case, plot turns and twists. Sometimes during writing I come up with a better idea or situation and I go with it.

Now, to the time I spend writing. I find time EVERY DAY and yes, I mean EVERY DAY, to write. Something. It doesn’t have to be an entire scene. On the days I still work outside my home at my paying job, I tend to write snippets of dialogue or scene descriptions. But I do it everyday, usually before I head to work for a half hour in the morning. No one else is up, I have the entire house to myself and I don’t have to worry about anything else but typing a few lines or paragraphs or pages.

At night, after dinner, dishes, prep for the next day, I write again.

On the days I don’t work outside my home, I can usually devote 6-8 hours at a clip or in divided doses to pound out what I want. Now, of course, there are those off days that I need to do other things, such a doctor appointments, hair dressers, grocery shop etc. so that cuts in to the time.

But the moral of this story is that I write everyday. Every single day. Something.

So the answer to the question of where do I find the time to write is, simply, I just do it whenever and wherever I can, every day.

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I need more time and less interruptions…

I never seem to have enough time in a day to write the way I want to write.  Make that, write the volume I want to write.

When I’m in the zone, I can sit at my laptop in my writing loft for the entire day and not do anything else but compose. If I am uninterrupted by phone calls, tweets and email announcements, I can pretty much chug along for the whole day. The longest I’ve ever gone is a solid 12 hours with a bathroom break every 2 hours to rid myself of the Diet Mountain Dew I imbibed like it was water.

Kinesiologists will tell you I am probably doing severe  damage to my legs, spinal cord, and butt from sitting in a dependent position all day, and there’s probably some truth to that. When I do get up I tend to be uberstiff and need to stretch all my long muscles to keep them from cramping.

But after I see the volume I’ve typed – the page count that’s been birthed – I know I can live with some muscle cramps if it means I am producing good work.

I hate to be interrupted.

I. Hate. It.

Especially when I am going along a great clip and the dialogue is flowing like pearls from my lips – yes, I speak aloud my dialogue when I write to make sure it sounds correct and like english – the descriptions are all dead on and the exposition isn’t filled with purple prose and platitudes. The plot is moving forward, the characters are growing appropriately and learning from scene to scene.  It feels good, this sense of accomplishment I get when the pages are racking up. I feel like I am putting together a coherent story  that can be followed by the reader, and – hopefully – liked.

But then reality sets in.

The door bell rings and it’s the hot UPS guy with a delivery. The phone pings and it’s a caller I have to talk to, not a telemarketer I can ignore. Dinner time rolls around and I have to cook for the family, not make reservations again for takeout or going out.

Twenty-four hours seems like a lot of time to a writer, but consider the time used in sleeping, eating, working ( if writing is not your means of support) family obligations, and anything else that can literally remove you from your word program. After all that, 24 hours isn’t so much.

If I get a solid hour or two on a working day, at least it’s something. On my days off, I strive for much more.

Sometimes I hit that goal, most times, not.

So, since I can’t wring out more than 24 hours in any given day, let’s try this instead: I won’t answer the phone – in fact I’ll put my cell to silent and then just check on it periodically. I’ll get all the chores of daily life done first and then devote the rest of my freedom to writing. I won’t answer emails, troll Facebook, or update my Twitter feed while I am writing. I will let it all go sideways, and straighten it out when I am done creating.

Sound like a plan?
Yeah, a really hard one to carryout…..sigh….

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