Monday, June 04, 2012

The Secret to Keeping Up With It All

"It has been said that writers don't retire, they expire at their keyboard."

Don't know who said this, but I love it! (Make sure you visit Elana's Blog Today - she is featuring me! She is such a great friend! Thank you, Elana!)

There is a great discussion going on at Nathan Bransford's blog about getting it *all* done: Writing, revising, editorial production, blogging, Facebook, Tweeting, marketing, publicity, research, reading, family, life, outside jobs - and staying sane. Or not. 

Lots of great comments. 

No easy answers, of course. 

Like, I signed up for Pinterest a few weeks ago and haven't had a moment to even log in again! It looks like a really fun place to hang out and drool over Very Cool Pictures, but gee whiz, some days I feel like I can write/revise and respond to emails from my agent and editor and publicist - or I can work on marketing - get a tiny bit of reading done - and that is about it! Well, and a few minutes on Facebook and reading my friend's blog posts. :-)

If I have outside appts (car repairs, dentist, doctor, kiddo stuff,) or shopping, cleaning, laundry and cooking to do, I often don't get any writing done on those days at all because half the day is taken up with the life *stuff*. I'll get to the business end, but the writing or reading goes out the window. 

Add in church teaching, exercise, phone calls with my family, writing talks, prepping for travel, school visits, and you feel like you're a maniac.  

And we never feel like we're doing enough. Not writing enough. Not marketing ourselves enough. Not spending enough time with family and friends.

Emails multiply like rabbits.

I think we need to take time to celebrate our successes along the way, too, and that often gets dropped off the radar or To Do List. Like we're not Worthy. Or there is Too Much To Do! But what is the point of our goals and dreams and life and success if we're just crazy maniacs constantly and we don't even take time to enjoy it!? 

I speak for myself. I am so bad at this. So Very Bad.

This year of 2012 I set a goal to read, at least for a few minutes, every day. I have sorely missed the amount of reading I used to do.  For the most part, I have succeeded so I gotta feel good about that. And it does make me very, very happy. Kimberley is a grouchy girl if she doesn't get her hit of a novel every day.

I have no answers, except one:

Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

With Milk. 

That is all. 

Your Thoughts, Organization Skills, and Tips much appreciated! 



S.P. Bowers said...

Chocolate chip cookies with milk does cure a multitude of evils. I'm just starting this journey, preparing to query, and already I feel at a loss at how to do it all.

Leslie Pugh said...

It definitely seems overwhelming sometimes - all the juggling of writing, life, church, family, etc. And I'm just in the beginning stages of writing a book. I can only imagine how hard it would be to juggle if I actually had work published and expectations from an agent, publisher, readers! I think we all just have to do the best we can each day and not kick ourselves if every day doesn't fit everything into it.

Leslie Pugh said...

And cookies with milk always helps!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great solution. I don't know the answer either. I work and it's hard juggling it all and squeezing in writing time.

Loved the post on Elana's blog BTW.

Jennifer Rumberger said...

I have no solutions either, and I feel the same, being upset with myself for not getting enough every day. You're right, though, you have to celebrate your successes how little or big they may be, so just to be sane. And no matter what, I have to remember that family time has to come first, since being a published author doesn't mean anything if you don't have your family with you to celebrate. So tough!

Christina said...

Okay, I'm not perfect. I'll be the first to admit that I have struggled with the balance issue for many years. Although lately I have found peace in one simple trick.
"Don't worry about quantity when quality is what counts."
For example. I have four small children and no nanny. That alone counts as 2 1/2 full time jobs. Seriously, there are statistics on it. But, if I spend one hour with all of them or 20 minutes one-on-one with each per day, they feel loved, connected, and are patient with one another. And that time belongs to them. I don't answer the phone, emails or plan out a chapter.
I feel better too. Because at the end of the day, if I didn't get everything done on my list, I can at least say my kids did their reading, learned a new skill, or shared a secret.
It applies to writing too. I don't do other things when I am writing. I focus only on that task, then I put it away for the rest of the day. I had to find a way to feel 'finished' with it, so I gave myself a word count minimum/maximum.
Hope it helps.

April said...

I set some goals at the start of the new year to be more organized. I'm doing better than last year, but it's still a struggle everyday.



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