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?  

Monday, September 30, 2013


I was sitting outside on the patio yesterday reading and it still felt and looked like summer. The yard is still blooming with flowers and I can still hear the buzz of insects and the crescendos of a few cicadas. My Mimosa tree is still bravely putting out a few pink puffs. 

Seasons are changing but the signs are not yet obvious. It’s something you sense rather than see. I look at the surrounding hills and there is very little color yet. But, there is a feel to the air—it’s a bit crisper in the early mornings and the evenings. I was thinking yesterday, as I watched the bees busy harvesting nectar from my flowers, it’s like everything is at the moment of pause. You can feel it on the cusp of change; nature is sucking up the last of the sunshine and food and preparing for the winter.

It may still feel like summer, I may still have to turn on the air conditioner in the afternoons (which will continue to operate off and on until November), but when I look across my road to our smaller pasture…ah, now there I see the evidence of the beginning fall. The scarlet leaves of the Sumac, a touch of yellow in the Walnut trees, the red leaves here and there on the white Ash, a hint of yellow and orange in the Sassafras and Dogwoods.

I do miss my morning sunshine. The angle of the sun has changed and of course, mornings come later now. I used to take a walk between 8-8:30 every evening to unwind from my day and still have the last rays of sunlight. Now, that’s gone and it’s almost dark by 7:30. Pretty soon it will be dark by 5:00. Not looking forward to the loss of light.
I’m a bit ambiguous about the changes. On one hand I want to hold on to summer and on the other I’m looking forward to snuggling up to fall and winter. I have a lot of energy in the fall—much like the trees as they change. I think the energy is a way of preparing for winter. I do have to move hay bales up closer to the house, clean out the dog houses and lay in fresh hay for bedding, fill in the summer holes that have been burrowed by the dogs to find cool beds in the earth, and make sure all the watering troughs are ready to go. The barn still needs a final clean up and fresh hay laid down in the area the horses take refuge from the fall rains and winter winds. The cats come in and out but most of them prefer to curl up in sleeping boxes filled with hay or in the west bay of the garage, which was designed to house a tractor and it’s where I load up the extra hay. Makes it easier to feed the horses once the ice and snow starts and it’s a lot easier to walk fifty feet to the garage than a quarter of a mile down to the barn to feed. Then there is the fall washing of all the windows and cleaning of the carpets for the times when the house is tightly closed off for winter. Still a lot to do so the energy comes in handy. J

I’m fortunate that when winter sets in I don’t have to travel to go to work. I work from home; my commute is from the coffee pot to my office. I have windows that look out on the property to the east and south. It also affords me a great view of the falling snow when it comes. I love writing when the snowfalls. My imagination flows with the autumn rains and the smell of wood smoke in the air and winter snow. I’m working on a new writing schedule that allows for my work schedule. I do my best creative writing in the early morning but my non-fiction writing is best in the evenings. So I’m trying to schedule that and start my paying job a bit later in the morning. I’m still playing with time slots, but it’s coming together.

Seasons change. We change with the seasons. It’s the way of nature.

  • What  changes do the seasons bring to you?