I realized last night, when I took a breath to think about it, that I blogged only once last week. And didn’t realize it until the week was over.

When I named gave this blog its name, Moving Forward on the Writing Path, I may have naively assumed that forward always meant…well, forward. With no detours, no twists, no stalls. I say “naively,” because, realistically, we all know the writing path actually looks a lot like this:

Signs I know life is getting busy?

  • Yep, fewer blogs.
  • More to-do lists on my computer. (Luckily, I use StickyPad, which means the notes are virtual, not physical–they “stick” better, don’t look as sloppy, and are editable! Not to mention that, when I decide it’s time to STOP working, I shut off my computer, and I can’t “hear” the notes nagging at me anymore!)
  • I read and reread lighter books, comfort stories that I can dip in and out of without worrying about the characters or trying to dissect the plots. Latest choices: Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series and Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family stories.

What’s the busyness about? Taking first steps into a new writing area I’ve wanted to break into for a long time, hoping to add more non-writing work hours to my week, listening to all the stories in my head that want to be told. Yes, all good things. And you will hear more about them here, if/when they all get finalized and definite!

Still, if Jeeves showed up at my front door today, looking for a job, I wouldn’t say no. And I bet more blogs would magically get written, too!

Life and writing is about organization and management. And just when you think you’ve achieved that, change happens. Sorry…Change happens. Yes, with a capital C. Which is better than boredom and stagnation, but…it does put a few little hills and sharp curves into that path.

What do you do when new things come along? How do you weave them into a pattern that lets you settle into a rhythm and keep that forward movement.

A couple of links for you:

Gail Gauthier has started a series on time management for writers at her blog, Original Content. Check the posts out here.

And Debbi Michiko Florence has made this year her Year of Writing. You can find her series of YOW posts here.

And here’s to having it all…including sanity!

Here’s what I thought would happen once school started. I’d have 6-8 hours a day of just-writing time. You know, because high school would be so easy and straightforward and life, with all its complications and responsibilities and tasks would somehow magically take care of itself.

Um. Yeah.

Let me just say that the past few weeks have felt just a tad scrambled and random and disorganized and—okay,yes, productive in many ways, but not for my writing and not with a high degree of calm, relaxed, sanity.

Which, I reminded myself this morning, means it’s time for my calendar. It’s time to schedule my writing and to fit some planned time in for all that other life-stuff, too.

Here’s how it works, when I remember to do it. The first thing I schedule for the morning, in writing, or–these days–on my Blackberry-is the writing. I take up an hour slot on the day’s calendar, or if I’m being nice and generous, an hour and a half. Sometimes, when I first get back to this “system,” I have to fight the feeling that I’m only dedicating a small piece of the day to the thing I love most. Of course, then I think about the past week or two or…you know, and I realize that’s way more than I’ve been giving to my writing. I schedule this time for a few days, up to a week ahead–basically as far as I can look forward and know what life will be like. Supposedly, anyway.

For the rest of the day’s time, I think about what else I have to do. Sometimes I have an editing job or some freelance writing to fit in. Other times, like now, I feel a serious need to get in some solid exercise–another thing that typically goes missing when my life chooses the haywire path, so I make sure I get some of that down, in writing. This month, it’s paperwork–all the lovely financial-management joys that skulk in corners and make sneering nyah-nyah noises when I try and hide from them for too long.

Writing, exercise, paperwork.

I don’t know about you, but that’s plenty for me to fit into a day, along with, you know, spending time with my family, helping my son ride that school roller-coaster, keeping the house and food supplies in some semblance of order, and–lest we forget–reading.

I’m getting a bit freaked out again just looking at this post.

Breathe.

Okay.

I know this works. As long as I write it down. I might not be speeding along, but I’ll be making progress. And that’s really what it’s all about.

PJ Hoover uses her own very special time-management tools. If you haven’t seen her fun video yet, take a look here. And enjoy the calm.

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