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!