As I sit down to write this, I have a number of pressing issues vying for my attention.
On the writing side, I’m launching my blog tour for “The Autumn Lands” today. My novel “Oberon” wants to be third drafted, but I am avoiding it like the plague until I nail down a few more bits and pieces of the science behind the story. I barely snuck by on “River City” this week – it was the first time my translator contacted me and said “where is it?” I’m pulling together an anthology project that shortly will need to be formatted and submitted. And don’t even get me started on all the stuff I do for QueerSciFi.com.
In RL, I have a conference call planned for this morning to help me figure out how to deal with myriad issues in a planned website upgrade we’re tackling. I have renewal calls to make for our directories, emails to reply to, and five or ten other major ongoing projects.
Oh, and I have to find time to eat and sleep, neither of which I am managing very well these days. *grin* So I thought I’d bring you my tips for dealing with the massive jumble of things each of us has in our lives, in order to find time to write.
1) Be Organized. Spreadsheets are your friends. They can take reams of data that you otherwise might have scattered around on notes and post-its and put them in one place, in prder. If you don’t know how to use one yet, learn. Just think of it as a big note sorter and forget about the more advanced features for now. There are also some really cool apps out there for managing projects and calendaring the things we need to do. I use BusyCal on the Mac.
2) Break Up Your Tasks. Instead of doing everything at once, set aside specific times each day and parcel out your ongoing tasks accordingly. I do this with developmental and maintenance things for my job, especially – finding new clients, checking out old web links on our sites, etc.
3) Breathe. Take time during the day to get up and get a drink, or go check the mail, or just to close your eyes and meditate for a minute. Let your brain re-set and get your blood flowing. And maybe sneak in an Oreo or two… I just bought the thin ones, and I’m dying to try them.
4) Re-Evaluate. This one’s especially true if you work for yourself. Take a look at all the things you are doing, both for work and for your writing. Do you need to be doing all of them? Are they forwarding your business? Your writing? Your overall cause? If not, get rid of them, and apply that time somewhere else.
5) Carve Out a Regular Time to Write. Finally, and this one is really important for me personally – find a time every day when you will write. Come hell or high water (ok, maybe we’ll let you off the hook for those two, but you get the point) have your butt in your chair, writing for the whole time. Sure, sometimes life intervenes, so don’t beat yourself up if you fail occasionally. But try to do this every day, and see what a difference it can make.
Those are my tips – what are yours? How do you deal with your massive workflow and also manage to write?