Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group (8)

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.

I want it banged and nailed.

What, do you ask? Well, my time management, of course. I want to do a bang-up job with nailing my time management, because currently, I suck at this. I feel like I have so much to do, and that I'm busy all the time, yet nothing important gets done. Which is unfair, because I do spend most of my time being a mommy to the twins, and what's more important than they are? Still, I feel like I'm failing as a writer. And being a writer is important as well. 

I’ve read tips. And they’re good ones too, so feel free to use them, but here come my excuses:

* Set goals- I have them set, don’t be silly...however I hit that “reset” imaginary button quite often. The price of being your own boss, I suppose. And since I am my best employee, I do play favorites and let it slide.

* Take time every morning to plan your day- umm, well I wake up and start being a mom. My plan is to keep them alive and fed until bedtime. So far, so good.

* Write your “to-dos” on a calendar or notebook and check them off as you go during the day- I do, but I check them off at some random date in the future.

* Put up a "Do not disturb" sign when you absolutely have to get work done- hahahahah, let me rephrase: LMAO.

* Block out Social Media distractions- easy enough, IF I’m actually working on my manuscripts. Otherwise, don’t be ridiculous! A writer needs to be there for her fans...even if “fans” really means 2 or 3 online friends.

* Block out time for research so you have it when you need it- listen, my work time is for everything. When I’m free I have to sacrifice something else to do research. In this case, it's writing, revising or pulling my hair out.

* Schedule breaks- from who? The kids or....I don’t understand this one. It’s impossible is what it is.

* Minimize interruptions- by giving the kids Nyquil?

* Find a balance- this is what I’m trying to do, duh.

* Only sign up for half of what you think you can do- Finally! One that makes sense for me. But now I'm wondering if I have to pick one of my two kids per day to take care of... ::scratching head::

I will figure it out all soon. I have to. The thing is: How does one decide when its okay to ignore your human babies so you can create and raise your literary babies? If you know the answer to this, share away.

37 comments:

  1. Funny, minds and alike and all. I wrote about Schedules lol. It is hard, but it can be done I am proof of that. I hate the idea of routine and yet I am making it work for me.

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    1. I love routine…but only if the kids allow it. I will have to wait until they start school probably lol

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    2. I can't imagine how hard twins would be. I remember the little bit of time with two toddlers before my daughter went to school. The only thing I could offer with advice is get them in on it. Make a schedule for them as well. Anyway I'm sure you will figure it out.

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  2. I do write my "to-dos" in a project planning notebook. Occasionally I even get to check them off as I finish them.

    The "Do Not Disturb" sign wouldn't work in my household either.

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    1. First they would have to be able to understand what it says, which is easy enough, but then they would have to care…I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen anytime soon.

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  3. Giving the kids Nyquil - I'm in favor of that!!

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    1. See? I knew I'd have someone in my corner with that :P

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  4. I love your practical responses to the tips offered. Who writes those tips? I think sometimes there's a tip-writer in a secluded part of the country (think deep woods and grizzled, bearded guy) who actually believes they'll work for a parent of a toddler.

    One thing I'll agree on, though: having the goals written down does increase the chance of them getting done. I need the visual reminder or I'll forget 8 of every 10 things I wanted to do today.

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    1. I love having my goals written down too! I have them in my notebook, a calendar, and on the reminder widget on my laptop. I guess I feel more accomplished each time I write them down? Who knows? I just wish it did matter for a parent of twin toddlers lol

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  5. LOL, I'm with Lynda, love your practical responses. The only thing I can say is just keep trying and celebrate what you DO get done. Eventually those toddlers will go to school and then it's a whole different ballgame. Well, different distractions at least. :)

    Good luck!

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    1. So true, there is always some kind of distraction. Still, if I can establish a little routine I would be very happy ;)

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  6. I have been resetting my goals from quite some time that I am not seeing the goal post anymore.

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    1. LOL not seeing it anymore…err not really funny, but funny.

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  7. I absolutely love number 2! You go girl! Thanks for the tips (and the excuses!)

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    1. Sure! Anytime you need excuses let me know, I'm good at making them up :D

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  8. I've heard Benedryl works, too. LOL Seriously, your most important work is raising your children. Give yourself a break. Do what you can. Love your sense of humor. :)

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    1. Ooh Benadryl! I just wrote that down, just in case, but no reason really...

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  9. Nothing important gets done at my house, either, and I don't have twins to blame.

    Love,
    Janie

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  10. Now that my hubby has retired, I don't get anything done. I accomplished more when my daughter was little. Before she started to school, I bought her a garage sale type writer and let her pound away on it while I wrote. I wrote my first novel at 5:00 am every morning. Now... I'm so disorganized I can hardly stand myself. Good post. If I didn't live with a list back in my early writing days, I'd never accomplish anything. Good luck to you.

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    1. Thanks, Jess. The kids do have their "playing" moments but their potty needs still call for my attention. It's always something, at least lately. Still, its fun being their mommy ;)

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  11. You and Loni Townsend need to get together and chat. I feel like I'm reading her post. LOL My kids are older now, but I remember how it was when they were little.

    Goal setting is a good thing, but you need to set *realistic* goals. That would help with about half the things on your list. (I used to try to do everything other writers were doing and finally figured out I couldn't keep up... that I needed to find my own way with my individual goals and my time/abilities in mind.) Be realistic for you.

    To help the rest, try to prioritize your tasks with your *long-term* goals in mind, or at least alternate your time working on different things. Would your online friends be okay with you popping in now and then rather than being online every day? Is there another mom you could swap babysitting with to give you each a regular day to yourself?

    You could also look around at some homemaking sites and see what things other moms are doing to organize themselves. I'm talking about menu planning, making a double batch of stuff and freezing one for a later meal - that kind of thing. You'd be surprised how much time a little upfront organization can buy you.

    Hang in there. Life comes in seasons, and this, too, shall pass. :)

    IWSG #298
    (Yup. I got culled and had to start all over. *blush*)

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    1. Great advice, thanks Melissa! Now I have to look up Loni Townsend, she sounds great LOL

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  12. I'm always amazed at those writers who manage to write so much and raise their kids. I have only one child, and I can never guarantee myself any time. I've been trying to work on balancing writing and networking time this year, but it's not going so great. Especially with all the snow days cutting into my writing time. If you learn any great secrets that work, let me know! :)

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    1. If I do learn a secret or two, I'll share. But you must do the same :D

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  13. I wish I knew the secret! When you figure it out, I hope you'll share!

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  14. Hell, I have no idea. I have a big needy dog and an equally needy husband, but they don't need me like kids would (despite my rantings to the contrary) !! I suppose you're going to have to build yourself a dungeon and sound-poof it. They'll be okay for a few hours of the day. Throw them scraps and stick them in front of the TV. :)

    Just one thing - when do they go to school? My sister is pregnant with her fourth (holy moly!) but two are at school and one about to go to nursery. The newborn will enjoy creche as and when her mum in law can't help while she continues with her University degree. Heaven knows how she does it, TBH? She also has bipolar disorder like me!!

    She is extremely well organised though, which certainly helps. I'm wired to fight all efforts at organisation, which makes me curse and rage a lot, quite uselessly. :(

    IF you find the answer, share it with all of us. :)

    shahwharton.com

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    1. Oh, I'm trying to keep them busy with activities and not much TV…I suppose I can't complain about time then huh? lol

      They go to school in September hopefully, but they're still very young so that would most likely be only three days for about 2.5 hours each time. That's a good writing session three times a week I can look forward to…if I'm not too busy crying that they're in school and growing up too fast….sigh

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  15. I don't have a balance. My kids come first. Maybe I won't accomplish as much as I want with my books and career, but the books and career won't be picking my nursing home when I am 100. Sooo...if I put off the to do list to take care of the kiddos, it's the better investment in my future.

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    1. Glad to know I'm not alone, Elizabeth :D

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  16. That last one is pretty good actually, since my main issue with time management is trying to do more than I can in a day. It's inevitable that I'll fail, and yet I continue to do it. Good luck finding your balance!

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    1. Yeah, that was my favorite one as well. I think we try to oversompensate and give ourselves much higher goals than is realistic for our lifestyles. Then we get sad or upset when we don't accomplish everything "on time", we just have to scale back a bit.

      Good luck with finding your balance also, Laura :)

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  17. I'm right there with you on this one (not twins, but a Mom all the same). It is a constant tug-of-war with my time. When I read that some famous author says you have to write to be a writer, I have to wonder what sort of life they lead. There are days and days that go by where I don't type out one thing on my story. At that moment, it just isn't a priority.

    But just because I'm not working at the computer doesn't mean I'm not working on my story. In the shower, while driving, even doing laundry or making dinner...I am engrossed in my characters and what is happening to them. I have to count that.

    Leanne Ross ( readfaced.wordpress.com & @LeanneRossRF )

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  18. Struggling with time management was one of the reasons that my new word of the day is 'flexibility' I am trying not to be so hard on myself when I don't get everything completed.

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  19. Ah, time management. The eternal struggle.

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  20. Ha ha, I enjoyed your responses to each time management tip ;-)
    It's seems there are quite a few of us talking about time management this month. It's obviously a problem many of us are facing!

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