Monday, October 17, 2011

KICK START MONDAY: Getting on the highway

Hello world,

Welcome to another Kick Start Monday! So, what's new for me? This week I'm going to test a new schedule that will allow me to work on both my writing and freelance projects for at least 4 hours in the morning. Before all my time was so broken up that I would give up on "getting in the zone" and just waste time surfing Facebook, Twitter, sending emails and all the other fun stuff that keeps me away from my writing. In the meantime, I'd work on different parts of the manuscript but the process became excruciatingly slow.

In a nutshell, this system just wasn't working for me. Although I forced myself to squeeze in writing every day into my busy schedule, at the end of the day it felt like I hadn't done anything. That just didn't add up. So I'm turning a new page and starting on this new schedule. I'll be blogging at night and scheduling the blogs, so that will leave time for straight up writing in the morning. Even if I do two hours of hardcore writing, it will still be so much better than what I was doing before. Only catch - less or delayed "social networking" time; that's the price I'll have to pay. I know that there will be days when working the schedule is not going to be possible because of other work commitments - but I will jump that hurdle when it comes.

Time management is not for the faint hearted. Everyone I know who is successful with their time is a person who is great at setting a fixed routine and sticking to it. Without this disciplined approach, it is very difficult to reach goals. It's why I'm taking a stand and knocking the old routine to kingdom come. I'm leaving the access road and veering right into the fast lane on the highway. This change feels good - it's long overdue. I'm glad of one thing - I'm not one to make excuses, and I've always tried to at least spend 30 minutes with my WIP each day. I just want to up the stakes and have more quality time with my characters.

So... how do you manage to fit in everything you need to do in a day without breaking a sweat? I'd like to know how other people make it work. Incidentally, I was talking about this to my new friend, writer and fellow SSS poster Guilie Castillo, and she confessed she's blogging about the exact same thing today! Great minds, eh? So please do visit her blog to check out her take on this very important aspect of life.

Side note: My bestie Zee Monodee is also blogging about writing and publishing today over at the Pop Culture Divas. I hope you'll make time to give it a read.

Before I leave you to your chores, please remember to tune in this Wednesday to meet up with the formidable Rowena Cherry, who will be answering some questions about her writing career.

Also, and I know this has nothing to do with reading or writing - not the faintest bit - but I wanted to tell you: please, be kind to children, animals and those who gave you life not only physically but also emotionally, with their caring. Feel compassion for those who cannot express their pain in words. Love them - because they are capable of loving you unconditionally. I heard some gruesome, devastating news last night about an extreme animal cruelty case that happened outside our doorstep. The thought kept me awake for most of the night. My heart is so heavy today. Goodness, it was a poor, defenseless puppy!

So as much as you can, be a good human being today, and in future days. Do something nice for someone. I'm going to try. We need positive energy in this world, to balance the bad.

Until then, live well and love deeply.

~ Angela ~
No Rules. No Formulas. Just Love.

"Mile High to Heaven" and "Mr. & Mrs. Foster" available at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.


sarahballance said...

Oh, how I can relate to this! I have six children (13, 11, 8, 5, 4, and 16m) and we homeschool (8th, 6th, 3rd, and K) and between that, household stuff, and writing, my day can turn into a tornado in a HURRY. I hope your new schedule works wonders for you!

Guilie said...

Thanks for linking to my blog, Angela! Yes, time management is today's biggest challenge, no matter what kind of work we do. But as writers I think it's worse because there's no "real" rules to follow, no imposed schedule to stick to. It requires lots of self-discipline... and let's be honest: we the creative kind aren't really known for our self-discipline :)

Best of luck with the new schedule, and do keep us posted!

Angela Guillaume said...

Thanks Sarah! I so admire people who homeschool their children, It's a great responsibility but so rewarding! Then, six children + writing - how do you do it?! I need to take tips from you, not the other way round :-D

Angela Guillaume said...

Yes, Guilie - that dratted's very hard but I think it's important to have a routine. When I'm just flying by the seat of my pants I tend to end up with nothing. So, I'm going out on a limb here and putting myself on the spot :-D. If I don't measure up, I give you full permission to box my ears!

Chicki said...

I think many of us are going through the same thing. In fact, just this morning I did a search on Google for "author promotional burnout" and found this good article:

Hope the new system works for you!

Angela Guillaume said...

Chicki - I loved the article, especially "Spread the Wealth" and "Write Something New". Promoting is necessary but sometimes it takes you so far away from the purpose of it all, and from actual inspiration. It's good to remind ourselves that this is what we do. Thanks for sharing!

Zee Monodee said...

Awesome post, Angela. I think time management is something we all have to deal with, and let's face it - there is so much distraction out there.

For me, I've found that breaking the day up in slots and sticking to them rather-religiously works. I'm online until 10, then, wherever I am, I just log off and go to my WIP, until 12 at least. That ensures I get at least 2 hours of non-stop, uninterrupted time on my writing. Doesn't matter if I clock 1K or 3K, it's work and that's what I'm looking for.

But my routine won't work for you, just as yours won't work for mine. Time management is different for each one of us, and you have to find what works for you. In the past, I was a night owl but now I'm a wreck come night-time, so I have to make the most of the day to get everything done.

Stick to your guns though - you'll soar, I'm sure.

And thanks for linking to my post, sweetie. XOXO

Angela Guillaume said...

That routine is a good one, Zee. I know it may not work for me in the details, but the concept does. I've come to think that the best way of doing it is by sticking religiously to a schedule as much as possible. Contingencies do arise, but the general routine ought to be as regulated as possible.