The only thing on my mind this week has been time. Or, more significantly, the lack of it. How to fit everything in: looking after my kids, my job as a teaching assistant and, of course, writing. Everywhere I look, time in some way, shape or form is there staring back at me.
I think I’m quite organised with the way I prioritise things, and in general make the most of the time available, at school, when we’re out as a family and very definitely when I’m at home. If I want to do anything related to my book, i.e. new writing, working on my blog (like now), website administration, social media (Twitter, Facebook, blog posts for others), I have to organise my time down to the very minute. Some of it I can do when, for instance, I’m cooking the evening meal for everyone. My computer sits adjacent to the kitchen, so I can pop back and forth while things are cooking. Usually this might be responding to Twitter posts, writing emails, etc. But I know that if I fit all of this in, it effectively buys me some time at another point to perhaps sit down and write for an hour or two. That can mean as much as one or two thousand words, which while not a lot in itself, if you do it every day for a week, it adds up to quite a significant part of a story.
So I often find myself in a constant daze, working on one task, and thinking about three or four others. How can I find an extra few minutes to do this? Where can I buy some time that will allow me to do some writing later on in the day? It sounds crazy, and often is, but just lately things have all fallen into place a little better.
The micro-managing seems to be working, although I have to say I find myself in a near constant state of exhaustion. I have written more over the last few weeks, than I have in a very long time. For some time now, writing a thousand words in a day has always been the aim for me. It hasn’t always been achieved, but I think for me, it’s the right target to aim for. Some may think it’s too little, but with a family, a job, household chores, the kids to look after, and all of the other things that come with trying to promote a book, I think it’s about right.
So just over three weeks ago, part of the storyline of my characters’ continuing adventures came to me. So vivid was it, that I thought I’d better start writing it down, despite the fact that this particular part of the story won’t feature until somewhere around the end of book three. And considering I haven’t finished book two quite yet (only 156,000 words in), it seems a bit daft to be writing stuff that far ahead.
Or does it? Part of me says I’m wasting time, and that I should be focusing on finishing book two, alongside trying to promote the book I already have. But the time-obsessed, organised part of me says that at some point in the future, I’ll get all the time I’ve spent over the last few weeks back, probably with some interest. I’m not sure which of the two little voices in my head I should listen to. But the way things are at the moment, I’m tending to think that the second one will win out.
So over the course of the last three weeks, I’ve found the time to write just under 30,000 words, for book three, that is. Have I done well? Is it enough? Is it too little? I suppose you’ll say that it depends on the quality of the work. I like what’s been written down. There’s a touch of everything: suspense, drama, action, the introduction of new characters, with more twists and turns than most country lanes. So I suppose I should be happy. But all I seem to do is worry about the time. And as if I didn’t worry enough about time itself, every day this week I’ve been in a maths class at school that have been learning about……………………..yes, you’ve guessed it…………..TIME!
The writing hasn’t all been for book three. I suppose I’ve managed in that time to do somewhere around the 5,000 word mark for book two, and a few other bits here and there. But it always seems like it’s not enough. I so envy those who write full time. I would so love to do it, like so many of you. I don’t think I’m short of ideas, and I know my story telling skills are getting better with each line I write. It’s just the TIME. There’s never enough of it. If any of you out there have any magical hints and tips on how to find the time to write, or even a TARDIS you’d like to let me borrow, please feel free to let me know.
Regards until next time.