2012-09-16

Time management

Jake Kerr, a fellow Launchpad 12 attendee, posted an interesting tweet the other day: "My recent promotion at work has been the absolutely worst thing to happen to my writing.  Need more hours in day."  I feel his pain!  I have a job that demands a lot of my time.  I also try to give my wife head of the line privileges in the list of things I must do.  Writing is often item 3 or 4.  But, proper time management can allow me to squeeze a little bit of writing time out of a busy schedule.  The key to proper time management is to get your priorities straight.

I cannot write when there are people talking around me, especially if the conversation involves anything I might be interested in.  I can, however, read during those times.  To write, I need to concentrate and think about the scene I'm trying to develop and how I'm going to put that scene into words.  I can't do that when there are distractions.  When I read, I am taking in information and I have developed the ability to tune out the rest of the world.  What that means for me is when I have some time but I can't concentrate on writing I can read.  That allows more time later to write.  At the moment, I'm reading books on how to write which are important to me and therefore have a fairly high priority.

If I find myself with time at work, I think about my current project.  This allows me to start writing almost as soon as I sit in front of the keyboard.  I might only get a paragraph or two written before something interrupts but that's a paragraph I won't have to write later on.  Let me give you an example of how I manage my time.  Yesterday my wife went out with a friend leaving me to myself for most of the day.  I had a huge list of things to do.  I did 2 of them while she was in the shower.  While I was doing another I thought about what I was going to write.  Two other items needed concentration so I thought nothing of writing.  When everything was done I could do one of several things; Read, watch some TV and relax, surf the web, or write.  I grabbed the netbook, set myself up outside, and spent 2 hours writing.

This morning I had several things to do including updating this blog.  This blog is writing.  As soon as it's finished I will fire up Scrivener and keep working on Peacekeeper which I thought about this morning during breakfast as well as last night in the shower and while falling asleep.  I have words in my head ready to hit the keyboard.

I just finished reading "Characters and Viewpoint".  I give it 3 stars.  Good information but a bit heavy on the examples.  I think the examples could have been shorter as reading too much of an example detracts from the lessons the author is trying to give.  Overall though it was a good book.  I also finished reading "Spider Star" by Mike Brotherton, the person responsible for Launchpad 12.  I also give it 3 stars.  Good reading.  I am now reading "Beginnings, Middles, & Ends".

Peacekeeper has undergone some revisions since I last posted making the word count now 26K.  As Stephan King would say, 'The delete key is your friend'.  I ended up throwing out large chunks of stuff I had copied in from 'The Elite of the Alliance'.  I am now into completely new material as I have diverged too far from that ancient novel for me to use it anymore.

I have about an hour before my wife gets up.  Gee, what should I do?  Surf the web?  Tweet?  Watch a science fiction show I've been wanting to see?  I know - WRITE!