Monday, January 16, 2012
How Do You Stay On Top of it All?
Wow. What a busy weekend I had. My daughter's sixteenth birthday was yesterday (Happy Birthday, sweetheart). It was the Divisional Round in the NFL playoffs. I had to drive my other daughter to dance and back. I had to meet a blogger friend to exchange some books way down in the city. I had to whirlwind clean the house and vacuum up all the dog hair because the gateway inside our router had died, and AT&T had to send a technician to replace it.
There was other stuff too, and I'm not complaining, because I'm very fortunate to be able to do all these things, have a roof over our heads and so on, but it got me to thinking. Thinking about writing, being a father, having a day job, and still wanting to find time to do things I enjoy, like watching football. Luckily, I had recently finished another round of revisions on my novel, because I definitely would not have gotten any writing done this weekend, even if I'd wanted to. Also luckily, I no longer had teams I really care about involved in the playoffs (Vikings, Falcons), because if I had, I would have had to miss much of their games, with everything else that was going on.
So, to carry this comparison over to writing, I want to talk about how to find a balance. How to make the time to get it all done. We all have different strategies. Taking the laptop along to soccer practice is something I've done. Converting a friend's manuscript so that I can read and critique it on my Kindle is another. Skipping TV, or even writing or revising while the family is watching is another.
I'm also very fortunate that I have a job where I can get some writing and blogging done from work. My shift starts at 6 AM, though, so it means that I get very little sleep during the week. I suppose that's another way to find the time. Sleep less.
Lately I haven't even had the time to work out in the afternoons, which is not something I want to allow for long, but it just goes to show you that you can't always find the time for everything you want to do. Ideally it would be wonderful to be enough of a full-time author for it to pay all the bills, but I think we have to recognize that such a thing is very rare, and most of us will have to suffer through other jobs.
Those of you who have all these things on your plates, how do you manage it? Or even if you don't have a full-time job, but your time is short because our kid's lives are so full of commitments, and caring for a home can be a full-time job, how do you handle it and still find time to write?
This is a question we talk about a lot, and I know there really is no easy answer, but it's been on my mind lately, and it's always nice to hear about the strategies friends use.