My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Showing My Work: Schedule Needs

Day four of watching The Contrarian. Neither of us had died horribly, so I'm daring to feel optimistic.

Of course, now, "Dared to Feel Optimistic" will be my epitaph. I have tempted fate by publishing my lack of Raiders of the Lost Arc face-melting horror. It's been nice knowing you all.

The Brain and Sonic Gal get back from Seattle late tonight, and I hope to be back on a regular posting schedule by tomorrow.

However, I hope to be back on a regular posting schedule SUCH AS IT WILL BE.

As you know, those of you who've been keeping up with Writing About Writing, I've been threatening a major, fundamental change to my posting and updating schedule. Not a small little tweak like I've made in the past to help squeeze out an hour here or there, but a huge overhaul that requires me to put on pants that insufficiently cover my butt crack and insist that parts can't be ordered any sooner than next Tuesday. Then I'll try to scratch my balls with my wrench, but subtle like so no one can tell that's what I'm doing.

Of course, it was with no small amount of irony, my ability to post my old schedule completely broke down the day before I was about to do a big post about what my new schedule was going to be.

For now writing still involves grabbing my laptop when milk-induced comas provide me with 45 minutes or so to punch out a few words. Provided, of course, I am not watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood with a thousand yard stare or remembering that I haven't had anything but powdered crystal light over stale corn chips in the last thirty hours and trying to hoover in something with cellulose.

What I have done today is to work out what my old schedule was lacking that my new schedule needs to take into account. These are the critical failures of the old schedule getting more broken as time went on. Many of them have been creaking and groaning (or maybe throwing off showers of sparks) since the baby came along, but I just kept thinking, "It's just for now. No need to pull emphasis away from the blog."

That was eleven months ago.
  • Fiction This whole thing started with someone wondering about my process and me realizing that my current regimen is really preventing me from getting in some good time on my own fiction.
  • Blog Plot Once upon a time the blog used to enjoy an ongoing plot. Then it all became about page views and last minute posts. I want the whimsy back.
  • Reading Writing without reading is like trying to only exhale. I need more time for the essentials of "breathing in."
  • Better proofing I don't exactly LIKE realizing that I've posted articles with incomplete sentences and missing words.
  • Account for other blogs Remember how I write for blogs like Grounded Parents and Ace of Geeks? Yeah, so do my editors. And just trying to write two or three articles a day on the weekends was driving me nuts, and wasn't getting done.
  • Account for thank you notes At least once every couple of months, I need to write some thank you notes to the marvelous donors to whom I owe unending thanks. Since I hate doing form letters, each one takes 15-20 minutes. That adds up fast. Like most things on this schedule that don't fit, I tried to just squeeze this in without making room for it. Results were....predictable. 

  • Account for the insanity of Wednesdays On Wednesdays I watch the kid for five hours, teach for four hours, commute for three hours, usually end up cleaning for an hour or two, and do the weekly trash rituals of cat boxes, gathering little trash cans and getting dumpsters to the curb. Yet, for some insane reason that was the day I tried to put up a "meaty" article. The thinking was that I would have it done by Wednesday by working on it the days before. The thinking was wrong. The thinking needs to be driven off a cliff in an exploding car with a javelin through its face.
  • Account for the fact that I have 40+ hours of other work I can post a little something every day. I can post significant articles. What I can't do, is with my current life of househusband, teacher, daycare and writer, is to do both every day.
  • Account for Unsupportive Girlfriend Unsupportive Girlfriend likes to keep me on my toes by switching around my schedule or asking me for favors and making it impossible to write at the same time every day. The more my schedule is precision packed like a Tetris game, the more she's going to screw me over when she gives me the Z piece instead of the I. 
  • Time off  It's probably telling that I forgot this completely in the original version of this post. I write every day just like I tell writers they should, but blogging every day is a bit different. That's writing under deadline and it's less whimsical and more stressful. These last few months I've often realized I've been working 60-80 hours a week and I'm still falling behind. I might post content every day, but I need to be able to write it in a way that I have extra in the hopper and can take a day off.


  1. It is so nice to know that I am not the only one figuring it out as I go along!