Thursday, August 5, 2010

Juggling Time

You may or may not have noticed, but I've been absent from my blog (and other blogs) for most of the summer. I had grandiose visions of being a full-time writer and dedicating my summer to finishing my novel.  

But, like some well-thought out plans, my vision failed rather quickly. I discovered that I work better on a tight, rigid schedule. With too much free time (like my summer as a teacher out of school), I tend to fill in the gaps with non-work: reading, playing with my kids, going to movies, etc. It surely didn't leave me enough time to write. In my mind, I was on vacation (loosely translated, no work!). Then it became easier and easier to push writing to my "back-burner."  

Now, three weeks before I have to return back to school, I can't imagine where the time went. Did I write every day? No. Did I finish the first draft of my novel? No. Did I stay caught up on blogging? No.  

But I can say that I had an enjoyable summer. Three months ago, my kids and I made a list of the top 50 things we wanted to do this summer. We didn't accomplish everything, but we did manage to hit 24 activities on the list. Not too bad, I think.  

What I realized this summer is that I tend to accomplish more when I have less time. Surprising, isn't it? I think I prioritize better when there's less time. I'm looking forward to getting back into a rigid schedule again, one that includes time to write. 

What about you? Did you achieve all that you wanted this summer?

17 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

Well, it's nice to know you had a great summer. Don't worry about the writing, kids are most important when they're young.

I'm keeping up with my WIP, hope to finish by the end of Aug. and start querying soon after that.

Palindrome said...

I did not achieve all I want...yet! But there's a whole month left!! I still gots time!!

#167 Dad said...

I dig the juggling graphic.
This summer I launched plan to self publish a collection of stories on 800 dollars...

Marcia said...

I'm glad you had a great summer. It surprises some people, but I think A LOT of people work better with more of a schedule. It's not uncommon for people who quit their day job to write full-time to run into exactly your problem. That said, I find it hard to really sink into my fictional world if I have the feeling "time is going to expire." So I'm now trying a schedule of writing-only three days a week, and teaching-only three days a week. We'll see how that goes.

Catherine A. Winn said...

Even though you weren't putting your fingers to the keyboard, you were having experiences and emotions that will show up later in your work. So, you were writing by storing these things in your mind. Besides, the memories you made with your children are priceless, you can always find time to sit at the computer.

Nicole MacDonald said...

*hee* I'm the same, I don't panic till the deadline approaches ;p

Catherine A. Winn said...

I left something for you over at my blog. Have a great weekend!

Jessica Hill said...

I seem to work best under pressure. I'm a procrastinator to the core, waiting until the last minute to do things. So anything that isn't part of my routine suffers. Needless to say, I didn't accomplish everything that I wanted to do this summer, either. Except to relax a bit. :)

Shelley Sly said...

I understand where you're coming from. I work in the schools, so I have summer off, too. I've been so behind on blogging, hardly posted the month of June and had trouble keeping up with others' posts.

What's important is that you've been enjoying your summer, because with school starting up soon, your time will be spent much differently.

Andria said...

Hmm, no, I don't think I accomplished any of the things I'd planned to do this summer. I did force myself to write, but I still didn't write everyday. :( But I did read a lot, so it wasn't an entire waste of a summer. :)

Lisa Gail Green said...

Ah, the best laid plans... I kind of figured I wouldn't get much done with my kids around. But we did have fun (I hope). I work best under pressure as well.

Renae said...

Count me in ... or out. I started and abandoned a project and started another. Did blog - but I find that MUCH easier than writing a freaking book.

Had good times with the grandchildren. I don't have "whole" summers off anymore, but I still "let up" in June, July, and August. Just can't seem to get serious until September when I am consistently forced to prioritize.

Glad to have you back though. I missed reading your ramblings! :)

Ann Best said...

Hi. I just found you through Catherine Winn, and glad I did.

I'm a grandmother now, but I was once a young mother like you. How you spent your summer is absolutely perfect! The children grow up SO quickly.

And you will have time to write. I'm about to publish my first book, a memoir, after all these years. So, if you want/need to do it, you will!
Ann

Jessie Andersen said...

It's always like this for me. I have to consider writing a job now. It's the only way I can get anything done. With any luck, I'm sending my resubmission today! Keep your goal in front of you and no matter how many times your plans fail, get back in the saddle.

Margo Berendsen said...

Found you from Catharine's blog. I'm so impressed with people who can keep working on their goals over the summer, but I also love to find other people (like me) who don't get their goals accomplished, but don't guilt themselves about it either. I had a wonderful summer too, doing lots of reading and playing and very little writing!

Meghan Ward said...

I had a whole lot of fun this summer but wasn't all that productive as far as writing goes. I didn't have any real goals, though, so I'm happy with what I achieved. And now I'm dying to know what the 24 things on your to do list were!

whirligigdaisy said...

Ah. It's also important to have a wonderful summer with your kids. All in good time.