Lately it feels like each week I come up with a new way of scheduling my work load to get the most out of my time. The only thing I don’t schedule in is time to re-write my schedule for the coming week. It pays to be flexible and I am curious how others stick to their writing timetables.
As a newly published author I was unprepared for the additional work load that I now have to undertake, the marketing, the email list building, the author platforms and the writing and editing of more books on top of my daydreaming to develop ideas, listening to podcasts, reading craft books. I have a plethora of up coming story ideas each more delicious than, well, anything I have just mentioned.
It is true that we writers need to practice grit and determination, but I ask you how can you maintain writing and working into the abyss with so little feedback and compensation?
I has taken me years to finally convince not only myself, but my family that this is it. I am a writer. Now I am asked appropriate questions by my family such as ‘How is the book going?’
When strangers ask me what I do, I no longer hesitate. I am a writer. It feels both good and a little fraudulent especially when I have to say, ‘No you haven’t heard of me.’ In fact my book Allison is lost at number 898,195 on Amazon (paid in Kindle store). That is fine, my long awaited writing career is a slow burn. I have five more manuscripts written and travelling through the editing, polishing and publishing process. In the meantime I plan to work on content marketing and more writing. Yes it is a leap of faith, but my books are okay, my books will get better and so will I.
Will it always be such a struggle to schedule, to find a way of doing everything that I want to write, read, listen to and watch?
Back in 2018 I was the victim of a hit a run. A truck ran a red light and ploughed through my car. I survived but it left me with ongoing neck and migraine issues, mix that up with arthritis and carpal tunnel and there is a lot going on that makes my job, any job really, difficult. Manageable yes, but when you are in the flow of writing a story, your characters are talking to you, the plot is evolving, working and you can see it all coming together. You missed lunch, your midday meds and finally you have to get up because you can no longer ignore the urge to pee. But now your knee is locked and your hip is stuck, your back hurts, there is no way of getting from your desk to the toilet without pain. Why? because you are an idiot.. (by you I mean me) You ignored scheduled breaks, time limits and self care.
I am not the only one. I hear this so much from the people around me, the non-writers, the tradespeople, the office workers, the business owners, the teachers and the doctors. Why is self care so difficult? Do we expect too much from ourselves, is the world too hungry and eager to have it all now? Are we too keen to please, to keep up? Do we not realise that we are leaving our most valuable commodity behind? No job, no matter how wonderful is worth treating ourselves poorly.
My schedule is simple and I am semi-confident that this is the one that I will stick to. Each day I have designated an hour to working on new material, and then each day I have allocated two hours to work on an area of my business:
The above table is a simplified outline of my current working timetable, I use calendar on my iPhone to set the times and ‘day topics’ and Reminders to make notes on each of my projects. I can add new projects to my to do lists here as they come to mind across the board. Now I am not wasting time going through my notes worried that I forgot something and all my information is on hand. Overall it has been a productive week with limited mobility issues.
The table above doesn’t show my scheduled breaks, I set my timer for 30 minutes and get up and move around, even if it just to do the laundry or vacuum and make a cup of tea, it keeps me moving and working.
Thank you for reading, I am now going to take this beautiful lady for a walk.
Healthy Happy Writing!