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Not Enough Time On My Hands

September 13, 2010

Time is a fickle thing, isn’t it? It always seems like I have an abundance of it, until deadlines approach, and then it feels like I’ll never catch up. Because I’m not only self-publishing, but also publishing anthologies with other authors, it means I’m juggling a lot of hats. Luckily, I’m not alone in it. I have Kris (who does 95% of our marketing) and Roger (who does 95% of our e-book formatting, website upkeep/programming, accounting, and any number of other small jobs he winds up having to do), so my job is mainly dealing with the authors, typesetter, editors, artist, and printers… along with all my writing.

So, when do I have time to do all the writing? I mean, The Keeper was completed last year, and Rachmaninoff was finished in April of this year, long before things really started to snowball. My story for the Cast the Cards anthology took six months to write mainly because short stories aren’t my thing, and I just couldn’t motivate myself to finish it quickly. Since then, I’ve only completed Catalyst (which I’m still impressed with – 29,000 words in 7 days!).

I sleep 10 hours a day, so I’m left with 14 hours to do all the publishing aspects of our press, write, and deal with my family commitments (as I have a husband, pets, and house to tend to, as well as a boyfriend who likes having my attention on occasion). My time is then limited to about 8-10 hours of quality writing Monday-Saturday (Sundays are our ‘day off’ where neither Kris nor I do anything writing-wise… I usually catch up with publishing things then). There’s also blogging, Twittering, and instant messenger conversations throughout my day.

My time swirls down the drain so quickly, it sometimes baffles me. Could I manage it better? I’m not sure. I’ve tried to compartmentalize my life before and it never works for me. I’m pretty manic about time and stuff, so I do a billion things at once, keeping the plates spinning in the air, and somehow it all comes out all right in the end.

Right now, the schedule looks like this:
Mondays – blogging, catching up on correspondence, Twitter, and household stuff
Tuesdays-Thursdays – writing from 10am EST until 11pm EST
Fridays – blogging, household stuff, brief writing
Saturdays – writing from 4pm EST until 11pm EST (alternate plans can be household stuff and a date)
Sundays – time spent with my husband, catching up on editing/proofing/website maintenance

Our best writing days tend to be those three middle days. Thirteen hours of writing can lead to getting A LOT done. When we’re really focused, we can write a 100,000 word novel (and not just a shit novel, I assure you) in about two weeks. 🙂

So, my method is very much like scatter shot. I toss it all up in the air and run around putting out the fires. XD Not very professional, is it? It gets the job done, and that’s the important thing, I think.

Right now, I need to work up cover art proposals for when our artist returns from her holidays, and I need prepare for when Kris comes to visit on October 22nd. That will mean we lose 2 weeks of writing while she’s here, but those two weeks will be a lot of preparing for all our 2011 releases, plotting books, and going over our marketing plans. I really look forward to those visits, as I feel we get an amazing amounts done.

Still… I’m pretty sure my hodge-podge method isn’t foreign to many authors, but when it comes to the writing and deadlines, I become very tunnel-visioned, and shit gets done then. Deadlines are my best friend, and in the end, it all works out. That’s all that matters, right?

Playlist for this post:
Michelle Branch – Goodbye to You
Reba McEntire – I Wound’t Go That Far
Alabama – Song of the South
C.W. McCall – Convoy
The Phantom of the Opera – The Phantom of the Opera

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2010 6:04 pm

    I have no idea what that post was about. I read “husband and boyfriend” and forgot everything else you said. Lol. I’ve not quite decided if you’re joking.

    H, yeah, scatterbrained is how I am, yet I’ve discovered I work best when structured. It is why I’m putting so much effort into setting up my blog tour. I also have to plan a story before I write them.

  2. September 14, 2010 5:46 am

    Hey, Chris.

    I do indeed have a husband (been married to him 13 years in January) and a boyfriend (who I’ve been seeing now for a couple of months). We’re polyamorous. The husband has a girlfriend, and the boyfriend has a wife. ^_^ It’s worked quite well for us for about half our marriage now.

    It seems to be the general way a lot of writers attack their time. I know I’m lucky in I have a couple people to share the burdens with (like Kris does the blog tour set up, so I don’t have to worry about it), but it can still feel like I’m running around juggling madly, trying to keep all the balls in the air.

  3. September 14, 2010 5:34 pm

    Well, I’m glad it works for you. It’s not my thing, but it is something that fascinates me… but them I am fascinated completely by the relationships and interactions between people (or characters) and that translates even to my reading.

    I have an artist friend who is essentially the same way (scatterbrained) and most of the peeps I’m at college with are, too. I think its a creative thing.

  4. September 14, 2010 5:37 pm

    It must be a creative trait. XD

    Yeah, I am the first to admit that multiple partner relationships are, by no means, for everyone. 😀 It just works for us, and I can’t imagine being any other way. I’m impatient to write my first polyamorous novel (three men and one woman).

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