Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Is That All You Ever Do?

I got a couple of phone calls recently from a family member (notice how I'm not naming names). Both calls went something like this:

Me: Hello

Nameless family member: What are you doing?

Me: Working on my book.

Nameless family member: Is that all you ever do?

Me: Well, it's not going to write itself :)

I tried to be nice and I think I succeeded, sorta. I did stop at that and change the subject so I wouldn't add, "If I didn't have to stop to answer silly questions it would go much faster." Really, it could have been much worse but I'm such a kind, considerate person ;)

Some just don't understand writers enjoy writing. It may seem like an obsession and okay, it is. We love it. I'm sure those who spend countless hours playing video games or watching silly movies and TV shows would understand, but not all do.

Many of us work full time jobs, have pets, children, or both to care for, spend time with family, or try to have a social life. We try to balance children's activities with school, sports, and home. Oh, and you have to feed everyone now and then. That's A LOT folks! Our plates are full! So, no, it's not all we ever do!

I read articles that give checklists to make time management work for you. Keep a calendar they say. I have a calendar. I keep meetings, blog dates, contest deadlines, conference dates, and dates I've promised something to someone . . . the list goes on and on. No calendar can create more hours in the day.

Am I alone in the time management / life tug of war? It's your turn now. Tell me how you really feel. Leave a comment and vent a little:)


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Ali Hubbard said...

I've come to realize that it's weird to some people because they can't SEE us writing. If I'm on a computer, they think...facebook or surfing? And sometimes it is. It's almost like some people think, "hmmm, how do I KNOW she's writing? She could just be saying that." With other jobs, you go to that place or whatever. There's ...evidence. lol. Not that it's really anyone's business. I think my husband feels that way sometimes.

Balancing is crazy hard. And I'm the kind of person who NEEDS about 10 hours of sleep a night, so I'm just never going to be as productive as say, my mother, who has never needed more than 4 hours a night. She's told me that she accomplished the most between 10 and 2 P.M. (housecleaning, etc). Um, yeah. Snoozeville.

Balancing has also meant learning WHEN I'm most productive at WHAT. Don't clean in the mornings. Don't write at 4pm when I have my afternoon slugfest. That has helped. Unfortunately, time is passing while I'm learning what works best! lol

robertsonreads said...

Hi Larryn,

I love your name. We have a professor here from South Africa whose name is Larron.

Anywho, that's kinda like my sister who was a stay at home mom with 4 kids. She would get calls can you do this? Can you do that? As if she had all the time in the world. Uh, no. Cooking, cleaning & laundry for that many in your household plus all the other little things that crop up in your day. Also, my sister pays my mom's bills online so that keeps her busy for a given afternoon.

I stay busy with my work as a department secretary & program assistant. I keep a calendar for my department secretary work and I have a hard copy calendar for all the projects that are to do with program assistant work.

If you need to, tell friends that you are working on x project and it could be your book just give it an undercover name.

Have a great afternoon.
Ginger aka robertsonreads

Larynn Ford said...

Thanks Ali !! My productive writing time is early in the morning after I've slept, and oh yes, I need at least eight hours (not that I get them every night). The only problem there is that my mornings are spent getting ready for work and rushing out the door. Maybe one day I'll get to slow down and do what I want to for a change:)

Larynn Ford said...

Thanks for stopping by Ginger!!

You are right, I need to stand my ground and let everyone know I AM WORKING! But when I try, the quilt takes over and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings:(

I am getting better though. I did announce to everyone last weekend that I would be on shutdown in order to meet an editing deadline. It worked ... sorta, but I'll keep plugging away at it :)

Meda White said...

Girl, I struggle with time management most days. I try to have a set schedule, but I also try to be flexible. With my part-time job, people know I'm flexible and I keep getting asked to sub, more and more. It's really frustrating. I write full-time, the fitness classes are a side gig to support my yoga clothes buying problem. But instead of my 2-3 weekly classes, I'm doing 4-5 some weeks and that angers me. I have a hard time saying no, especially when I don't have something concrete as an excuse. I'm trying to practice, "No.", "Sorry, no.", "Nope.", "Can't." You said to vent, so you got it Soul Sister. :) I feel better already.

Larynn Ford said...

Soul sisters in more ways than one :) I know what you mean, Meda. Instead of the word no that's on the tip of my tongue. I always think, "well, maybe I can do this for them and still get some writing in." Not. Why must we as women feel guilty about doing the things that make us happy on a regular basis and not just once in a blue moon.

See you soon!!

Louisa Cornell said...

This is one of my BIGGEST issues. I work a full-time day job. I take care of a house and five acres, a herd of dogs and one cat. I handle my Mom's finances as well as my own. And then I write! And I have come to realize if I want my day job to become writing I need to spend as much time an energy on writing as I do on the day job (a job I DESPISE with every fiber of my being!)

I haven't hit upon the right way to do this, but I am trying!

Sheila Grice said...

It is hard. I write in the mornings and all my friends and family know not to bother calling me during writing time. I don't answer the phone. I have noise-eliminating headset on, so won't hear anyway. I check my cell phone periodically to see if any emergency. I'm a bitch about my writing time. In a nice way, of course. As writers, we have to demand our time to work. It took me time to learn this, but wow.