Finding time to write can be a challenge for anyone, but especially for someone with a difficult or unpredictable work schedule. In 2006, when I was working on the book that became The Long-Timers, I spent the entirety of my vacation in the Fall watching the US Open on television and working on the novel. Having a phone that lets me type notes that are available on my computer helps, especially when I’m struck by an idea away from home (the voice recorder helps, too), and whenever I find inspiration at the strangest hours.
Recently, I’ve been working away from home and pulling twelve-hour shifts seven days a week, leaving little time for creativity. In addition, I’m trying to get Worthy to the printer for publication in mid-May, so my resources and energies have been focused on that. I’m usually out of bed each morning by two-thirty or three, often times walking or getting ready for work, though occasionally, my body overrules me and insists on oversleeping. When I’m home, and not working every day, I often have too much time, which causes a different set of problems.
My writing time is split between several projects. While Worthy gets my primary focus, I also have my blog and future projects taking up a significant portion of my attention span, and scheduling time for each is a daunting prospect. Some time ago, I committed to publishing a blog post five days a week, be it words, photos, or a video, and honoring that commitment requires time and attention I usually don’t have. I’m not very good at scheduling and time management has never been a strong suit. When I’m writing and the words are really flowing, I don’t want to stop, so, I’m generally not watching the clock. I usually know better than to sit down at the computer when I’m rushing around doing other things, but not always.
Everyone is pressed for time and this seems to be increasing in our fast-paced world. Recent challenges, particularly for those in the US have been demanding more and more of our attention. Not everyone is trying to craft an entire universe out of thin air, as many writers are doing, so the challenges we face are unique to our particular brand of madness. Factor into that the numerous psychological challenges many writers face and this makes it even more difficult to sit down and churn out a masterpiece. Learning how to budget our time, however, can make us feel less stressed, especially when our brains are telling us it’s time to write.