I know this isn’t just an issue for writers, it’s a modern day people problem.
At times I feel like I’ve taken so much onto my plate everything is going to spill off, creating a huge mess on the floor. Which I’ll have to clean up. I reach the end of my day and can’t remember where the time went. What in the heck did I accomplish? Cause it feels like not a whole hell of a lot, mostly due to all the stuff that still needs to be done.
The number one priority is my son. Has been since the day the pee stick said pregnant. I try as hard as I can to not let the stress from every other part of my life leak into my time with him, but it inevitably does. My phone is omnipresent in my life and I check my work email and social media like they are my own personal brand of heroin (thanks Edward Cullen). Instituting a no electronics during / after bath time helps with that, but still I get impatient when he asks for his 20th reading of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Can You See” because doesn’t he know I have writing to do? Unfortunately I don’t get to spend near as much time with him as I’d like during the week. So onto time suck #2…
Work. I’m in the thick of a career transition and there is a lot of catching up to do. Even after I leave the office I’m reading up on my new company, working from home on press releases, and answering emails right up until I fall asleep. I’d love to say that while I’m in the office I’m 100% present at work, giving all my energy to promoting my company, but nope. Half the time my brain is thinking about the kiddo and something he’s doing that has me worried, or proud. About a quarter of the time I’m having some brilliant epiphany about my book and trying to jot down ideas really fast before they leave my head. Yup, so that means my brain is only really focused on work 100% for a quarter of the time while I’m in my office. Awesome. Look for me in the unemployment line real soon.
Writing. I’d almost put this even with work because more and more I’m thinking of it as my part time job. I think you have to in order to write an 80k+ manuscript without pulling your hair out. That doesn’t mean I don’t love it, because I do. I hear a lot authors talk about their characters like they are family, or part of themselves. Not me. My characters are like gun-shy lovers that I have to romance and coax out of their hiding places. I need to be in the right mood to work with them, have the perfect playlist on, maybe some coffee or good food of some sort. That’s when the words really start flowing and they start opening up to me. I can do it in other places, but it’s never as satisfying for any of us.
Then there are all the other little things that fill up the time between. Like keeping the house clean while we try to sell it. Spending time with my extended family. Maybe a little reading for pleasure if I don’t feel like sleeping. Making sure the dogs don’t get too neglected. Oh, and my husband. Man I wish I was better at making him a priority, he’s an amazing guy and I love him so much. But thanks to our wacky schedules and combined exhaustion we both end up at the bottom of each other’s lists. Which, I know, is kinda sad.
So there it is, that’s my time. And just a little btw tidbit, I wrote this blog post mainly from my phone while warming up lunches at work, waiting for the kiddo to stop throwing his dinner around, or laying in bed begging my brain to shut off.
How about you? What are your biggest time sucks? Anything you desperately wish you could dedicate more time to?