Wednesday, October 2, 2013


There is no such thing as spare time in my life. It's probably the same for many writers. I have to make the time to do what I want including time for my writing.

I've been trying to figure out a writing schedule that takes into account my work schedule, family needs, and down time I need to be healthy. Burning the candle at both ends is not an option in my life any longer--yeah, I have that last part firmly in mind now and it was a hard lesson for me to learn.

To successfully write a 90k book I know I need a good writing schedule and a word count goal. 

I already know that for me to get any writing done I have to set a weekly writing goal. When I'm in a groove the words just flow and sometimes I blow right by that goal. But, when I'm not in a groove it takes work and the goal helps me stay on track.

Early morning is my best writing time. It's quiet and I'm fresh in mind--after a cup of coffee and some fresh early morning air. That means for me to meet my goals I have to come to the computer ready to work. No internet at all. I open the word document and work a solid couple of hours. 

All of this good. Five gold stars for figuring out what works the best for a writing schedule. But, then comes the juggling of everything else I need to do, sigh...

I also have to figure out time to read and comment on my blog list, answer important emails, and a daily check of my work site for emails and work related tasks. I have a daily work schedule as well and like many there is the family and house/ranch stuff that also needs scheduling. Darn it, some of my gold stars are disappearing.

I'm experimenting with my morning schedule. Trying to get up a little
earlier. Maybe scheduling Tuesday and Thursday for my morning writing and then starting work by 11. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I have blog guests. Some how I have to figure out a way to write, then check in and read/comment on part of my blog list, deal with my work site issues, and anything else and go to work. Sometimes I can keep a window open to comment on my bloglist in between work calls but forget it on busy days. If I go straight to the bloglist, there goes my writing for the morning. Nights rarely work out for creative writing because I'm either too tired or I'm working the phones until 9:00. I can do about anything non-fiction after 9 and I do visit some blogs but, creative just doesn't do well.

I'm leaning toward maybe making M,W, F an hour of morning writing and two hours on each Tuesday and Thursday. That would give me time to blog and then go to work. All I know is that so far I'm not doing well on juggling writing time and blogging time and that bothers me and is discouraging. Nothing is worse than having a story I want to write and not being able to do it justice with quality writing time. 

Don't know what the answer is yet but I'm still working on it. 

Anyone got some cheese to go with my whine?  


Beverly Fox said...

Unfortunately I have little advice to offer as i'm in the same boat. It sounds like you've got a darned good schedule worked out already- maybe what you need most of all is patience. Patience to know that one hour at a time the story will get written. Patience to know that one day you will reach the end.

It's like you said- on our good days we blow right through our word count goals and feel like we're invincible. On the bad days we struggle and suffer for every single word. The key is to keep going and it sounds like you're doing that. Believe in yourself and write- you'll get there!

Thanks for participating in IWSG!
(October IWSG co-host)

Suzanne Furness said...

Jugging time and other commitments can be exhausting can't it? It seems to be something most of us struggle with, I don't seem to have a set schedule I grab time when I can. I'm not good with creative stuff in the evening either.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That sounds like a plan. I know what you mean by the blogging and emails eating up all of your time. If I write another book I will definitely have to scale back and I'm to the point now where that's going to be really difficult.

Michelle Wallace said...

This blogging/writing/visiting/checking e-mails etc. is really a balancing act.
When you discover the solution, please share with us.
Though a one-size-fits-all formula simply does NOT exist... *sighs* Each writer has to work it out for himself.
Writer In Transit

Yolanda Renee said...

I hate to say it but it doesn't get any better once you've got the book published because then you have to add marketing to your schedule. All I know is that I take it one day at a time - learning all the while and trying my best to enjoy it all!

All the best!

Candilynn Fite said...

I do love a good sharp cheddar to go w/ my wine. ;)

I find mornings are best for my writing. I'm on my A-game. The girls are either at work or school, the hubby is either working or sleeping! And the dogs are asleep at my feet. I do agree, setting a schedule is necessary, but be flexible with yourself. I also find working 2-4 hours a day vs. a word count works best. This way, as long as I've spent the time allotted on the ms, I showed and did my work.

Good luck on finding your right routine. :)

Al Diaz said...

I am starting to experiment with time and schedules. I had one that worked well, but there was not much work requirements as now, so I guess I'll also need to adjust it. I have no idea how to organize time as I'm new in that too. I'll go on trial and error. See what happens.

Tracy Jo said...

I hear you! Always so nice to hear that others struggle with the same thing so I don't feel like I'm the only one. Your schedule sounds really good. I have been saying I'm going to set a schedule for like 2 years and haven't yet. I think I will do that TODAY! :-)

Jo said...

Organising your time is always difficult and when you try to do as many things as you do, almost impossible. Best of luck with it Sia.

Was it you who introduced us to the author of the Advocate stories, Burrell.

Mason Canyon said...

Trying to keep everything going and having time to do what you want and need to do is stressful. It sounds like you've got a good plan in mind and working toward reaching your goals. Wishing you luck.

Thoughts in Progress

Mary Aalgaard said...

Your blog has a really nice look and feel. I'm sure you do the best you can. Still, when you have a book to write, that needs priority. Set limits and blog/comment at times of lower energy. Maybe some in the evening? I look at blogs while I eat my lunch.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Beverly--yes, I do get frustrated as I see time I want getting piecemealed away. Yeah, it's all about focus.

Susanne--if I don't a plan then time slips away. Evenings aren't good.

Alex--that's just it. Scaling back is something I have to do. Something has to give but it's hard because I'm also promoting not only authors but my blog.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Michelle--definitely a balancing act.

Yolanda--I want a general working plan and yes, then it's a day an a time.

Candilynn--hours vs words. I think if you have the one the other will follow. LOVE sharp cheddar!

Al--That's just it. I had a great writing schedule and I was productive. BUT, I wasn't working a job at the time. In the beginning of a new job the focus has to be on that first so you learn and get the rhythm down then bringing back the rest of your life pieces. I'm learning too. I get frustrated too. We'll just cheer each other on!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tracy Jo--let me know how it goes!

Jo, I do many things. Now it's figuring out which are the most important.

Yes, Jo, I had Teresa Burrell on the blog the 25th with the Advocate series.

Mason--thanks. I'm working on it.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Mary--great idea. I've been experimenting with visiting blogs in the evening. I just don't have time to get to them all in the mornings and I think rather than frustrate myself I'm trying out evenings and lunch too.

Thank you. You put it all into perspective. I needed that. :-)

Julie Flanders said...

I love writing in the morning too, I've always been a morning person.
Wish I had some advice to offer but I am the world's worst when it comes to scheduling. Good luck getting into a routine that works for you.

Melanie Schulz said...

Your whine is right on. I'm in the same boat. There are just too many things, good things, that need to get done and not nearly enough time to do them. For me I write 2 hours a day between 1-3,when my son is sleeping and my 7 year old is working on projects. I guard this time with my life. But my house isn't nearly as clean as it used to be and I hardly ever see my friends anymore.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Thanks, Julie. I'll find one. :-)

Melanie--That makes perfect sense. Candilynn mentioned that as well, hours. And maybe I need to set aside x amount of time each day to write. I'm contemplating that solution...

L.G. Keltner said...

Setting aside time to write is a good idea. When you have so many other things to do, it may be the only way to find balance. Good luck!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Sia,

We all are tossing around time. SO many priorities in our lives, but when it time to write we always manage. It may not be as much as we like, but we do get to it... I feel writing can't be forced. At least not with me.

Have a great weekend! I hope you find a moment to write something wonderful....