When it comes to be a writer, time management can be a very important factor towards your success. Now, if you’re already a professional writer, who is making your living off of writing, there is a good chance that much of this will not apply to you, but for those of us who are not yet making a living as writers I think it’s essential.
So, let me tell you about my own schedule, and explain where the difficulty lies. As you probably know if you’ve read past posts, I am currently unemployed (got laid off in November), and I stay at home with my son—this dictates my schedule almost entirely— I’m currently working on getting a job, I’m trying to do this—the blogging, and portfolio building—in order to be able to self market (and I really enjoy it), and lastly I’m trying to complete my first novel and work on other short stories. This has all been while my landlord has been trying to sell my condo and so I had to leave nearly every day —during Logan’s nap time— for a stretch of a week or two, and having to deal with packing and all of the other stress that surrounds an upcoming move.
If I’m being honest, I don’t think that I’ve written anything on my novel—or done any editing/rewriting or anything else—in over a month. There is a combination of a couple of causes for this I’m not sure what to do next in the story (despite having written an outline ahead of time), but also time. It is very difficult for me to find an uninterrupted time to write. It is difficult after all the time that has passed to get back into a 130 pages of writing in a matter of a couple of minutes. This problem is temporary; Logan’s schedule and independence level have shifted several times in the five months that I’ve been unemployed, and honestly stepping away from something I’ve written for months isn’t out of the ordinary.
So here is what I have started to do in order to best manage my time. I try to get at least an hour of interrupted writing time a day (that’s how I write these posts), while Logan is in his high chair or otherwise occupied. If he naps (which is beginning to be less often) I work on job applications because I need to be interrupted as little as possible with those. As for my additional writing, I haven’t touched my novel in a month, but I have started some outlines, and worked on some short stories, if I’m particularly pleased with a short story, I do submit it for publication in other places (this is part of why short stories are added on this site so infrequently).
In addition to time management, perspective is important! In this case, I realize that my time management at the moment is not nearly what I want it to be, but I also know that things will change as Logan changes, once I move, and once I start working again. You may be thinking that working again may impact my time negatively, and you might be right, but in the past, it has been my experience that if I get to work fifteen minutes or so early, I have time to read or write a little bit, and I’ve been able to maximize this time. So, I’m optimistic.
It really does come down to finding a little slice of time to write, and that is really all you can do as an amateur or part-time writer.
(I should mention that in the writing of this post alone, I got up to help Logan at least twenty times. Just to give you a little perspective.)