Like so many of you, I work a full-time job and squeeze in my writing here and there. I find it tremendously sad that the thing I enjoy most is the first thing that is sacrificed at the altar of not enough time.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels a bit brain-dead at the end of a work day. And to be honest, it’s not that my job is unduly stressful or that I work in an unpleasant environment. Hardly. I like busy days and I get along with my co-workers. But there is a certain frustration that lingers with me through out the work day. Story ideas are born. Characters stop by and introduce themselves and to be quite honest, distract me from my work. I might make a note or two, time allowing, and I usher them away. By the time five o’clock has rolled around, my eyes are tired from staring at a computer screen. And those characters – they are long gone…
A short drive home and I’m preparing dinner. I might go for a ride in the jeep just to unwind. And I might plan on getting a few words down only…
Poor time management.
Whatever you want to call it – it robs many of us (writers) of valuable time. And it does so, so insidiously, we often fail to recognize it’s happening.
It starts out innocently enough. An internet search/fact check becomes a quick stop on Amazon… A look at a cute puppy video is followed by a notification of a friend’s Facebook update… A text message that leads to a phone call… A short break that turns into an hour in front of the television…
Before you know it, your best laid plans have failed and its time to go to bed and you didn’t make any headway on your latest WIP.
The frustration is real. So real in fact, that I decided I needed to be proactive. Following the suggestions of many other writers, I made myself some rules.
- Turn off the cellphone.
- Turn off the television.
- Do not access the internet.
- Be committed. Schedule writing time and stick to it.
- Go on DND (do not disturb) during scheduled writing time.
So this is the plan.
Got my fingers crossed that I’m disciplined enough to follow through.