How do you manage your time?

I know that there are a lot of professional and full-time writers here, but for those of you who have other day jobs or college or something else, how do you manage? How do you fit writing around the other bits of your life? How do you make the time, and are there other things you cut down on for the sake of it?

I was just wondering because I feel that, compared to many people here I’m much more of a ‘casual writer’ who writes whenever she feels like it. It’s something I enjoy and try to squeeze into my day somewhere-usually at night before bed when I’m tired and I need the recharge of doing something creative. It isn’t a daily ritual or anything though or something I absolutely must do, as I know it is for lots of people. Is it the difference between those who are professionals and hobbyists? I’m not sure it is, a lot of people who don’t write full time still spend an enormous amount of time and effort and love on their writes.

But recently, I’m finding it harder to find the time and motivation to write like usual. I have other things I do like draw as well and a huge back log of stuff to watch but still. Does anyone ever feel like that and how do you work round it if you do?

Thanks

 

-The Ace

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42 thoughts on “How do you manage your time?

  1. Did you get your invite to The Covey Crew? I sent out invites did you get yours? We are trying to move the admin and posts pertaining to running the blog to the background. 🙂 As for making time, if it’s something you enjoy as a hobby, like all other things you enjoy in life, you set time aside for it. I have a lot of different things in life that I juggle, including freelance writing gigs. Blogging is something I really enjoy so I make sure I set aside time each week that I can do things that pertain to it. Just like a gardener sets aside time to garden, a blogger sets aside time to blog.

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    • Yes, I got the invite, but for some reason the link didn’t work 😦 I left a comment somewhere about it, but that probably got lost. I can view and follow the site, but I’m not added to admin so I can’t post.

      I understand what you mean about making time, yes. Free time never magically appears, right? That’s the thing, I’m really temperamental about when I write and draw. I think I enjoy both equally and I just set aside a general amount of time to do those things, as I said usually at night once everything else is done. And the thing is I always want to do MORE of it, and I have to go to bed or go do something else. Oh well, maybe I’m just bad at managing time. Who am I kidding, I am bad at it 😛 But thanks for the input!

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      • I didn’t see the comment! I will resend the invite. You are right free time rarely just manifests. It’s all about balancing and making time. We all have things in our lives that we waste time with. Those things we do just because we need to fill the hours with. If we start eliminating those and actually start filling our time doing more meaningful things, those things we truly want to do…. we start gearing our lives more how we want to live. For instance I myself spend WAY too much time endlessly clicking around facebook. I’ll catch up on the news, and friends posts and then I catch myself still clicking around wasting time. So I’ve started limiting my time there and spending it on my writing gigs, developing my own blog and putting time into Covey View. I feel more fulfilled at the end of the day, and less like I’ve wasted my time.

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      • Oh it’s ok, you’re resending it anyway 🙂 that is so true, Instagram and Pinterest are probably my biggest time wasters, I go there feeling in need of inspiration and I end up wasting more time getting inspired than acting on that inspiration. FB isn’t a biggie for me, unless I’m having a really interesting chat when I should be doing something else. But I suppose it’s good that I never get bored anymore, now that I have these blogs to tend to when I don’t want to write my book or draw 🙂 so i know the feeling you’re talking about.

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      • oh yea instagram can draw me in at times too. haha. Though I also utilize it for a weekly post for my blog so I have even figured out how to make it work for me. 🙂

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      • Well I suppose it does help me out since I do post on it, and that’s another creative outlet for my art but sometimes I’m too lazy to post and I go in a liking spree and THAT wastes time because it never ends haha

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      • Sure that’s be great! I’m chinnitheace and I’ll say now that it is only for sketches and art, I don’t really put personal things on there 🙂

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      • Haha that’s what it is for most people, don’t worry 😉 I just feel I have more interesting things to share in my art than my everyday happenings.

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      • NO No! I didn’t take it as an insult, I was just saying compared to the world travlers, and the really interesting people….. my instagram is basically shots of doctor appointments, pets, plants, food and other randomness. haha. Was more having a laugh at myself. 🙂

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      • Haha I’m glad you didn’t! I’m well travelled but not enough to have my whole account about that, and my sketches always get more love than anything else so I gave up on that travel idea 😉

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      • We all find our niches. Mine…. so happened to develop when I got sick with Lupus and APS. I would have never imagined getting sick would have led me to where I’m going. I know I’m on this journey for a reason, there is a purpose behind all this craziness. 🙂

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      • There are some really unlikely causes that can lead of really good things, so it turns out alright in the end, I suppose? I was very sick for a while last year, and I just thought I should do everything I want to while I can because you never know when something may bring you down.

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      • Yea, I’m sitting here at 30 really amazed at how quickly life can go from normal to a life you never thought you’d have to live. I’m coming up on the year mark of when my chronic illnesses moved into my life, its been a years of craziness, fear of the unknown before the diagnoses, an insane amount of doctor’s appointments, and doctors, and changes in a lot of aspects of my life. But we do what we have to keep going. I know I’ll come out of this a stronger person then I want to figure out how to help people through this part of the process.

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      • Yeah, and it’s horrifying the speed at which it does that. But it’s the worst when you don’t know whats actually wrong I think, that’s what happened to me. I understand the in and out of hospital thing very well, at least once a week for ages after I was discharged, but enough about that. I’m definitely stronger for it and you certainly will come out of it AND come out stronger!

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      • My issues started with a miscarriage at the end of last may, then the onset of some really bizarre symptoms over June/July that I shoved off when i shouldn’t have. At the end of July I started passing out and having double vision spells and some other frightening symptoms. That started monthly (at least) er trips. I was scared, I thought for sure I was dying. I finally got my first diagnosis in November… what was causing the really scary issues was an autoimmune blood clotting disorder called Antiphospholipid Syndrome. Then in April Lupus got added to my Diagnosis to cover the rest of the symptoms I was having that didn’t fit with APS. I’m just starting to work through the anxiety issues. I even started seeing a therapist because I couldn’t deal with it on my own. Yep no shame here. It literally almost scared me to death.

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      • Oh my goodness! You’ve really been through a lot there! I didn’t get anything as bad as that and I’ve completely recovered(thank God) now. With me it started off as anaemia and throwing up so I couldn’t keep any food down and then I started losing weight in a big way and my haemoglobin and blood count levels got dangerously low and it was like all the muscle as well as fat melted off me. I used to get dizzy and faint and then I just kinda lost my ability to walk and all the strength in my body. I had total numbness on my feet as well-I couldn’t feel anything even when my mum did manage to help me walk around the house. I couldn’t have done anything without her, and I’m so thankful I had her to help me right through it.

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      • So glad she was there for you and helped you through that. I can only imagine how scary it was. Also glad it was an acute event and not something you have to deal with long term. Trust me chronic illnesses are a pain, and game changers. Some of the things though I have to admit have been positive changes, and a lot of things that needed to be put into perspective have been. Life always has a way of working out and I’ve met some pretty awesome people because of this journey. 🙂

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      • Yes so am I, I would have got very depressed and anxious if she wasn’t. It was very scary, for both of us-for me as it happened and for her seeing me like that. I don’t want to think about it really. I won’t ignore it, but it was a really dark time for me, I totally lost faith in everything. Yes! I’m very very glad it’s behind me. I’ll take your word on that one. But as cliche as it sounds, difficult experiences do push you to be more positive and become a stronger person I think, even if not all of us manage it right away.

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  2. I’m thinking about it over and over this weekend! I spend most of my free time reading and blogging, but still, I don’t write as much as I want on my blogs or even to come up with a nice story for Covey View, lol. I tried to cover an event in my town today, btw, but things didn’t go as I planned so now I’m working on the ‘disaster’ post haha. My ideas usually come when I can stop and write about them so I keep a bunch of drafts to finish later. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and behind schedule in my hobby, can u picture that?? Hahaha

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    • Yes! I know exactly how you feel! It’s like you said, spending next to all your free time on it and then you look back and think you haven’t actually DONE that much in the end. Haha if say fogey about the whole thing and don’t write a disaster post-that’s probably better for your self esteem lol My ideas, hmm…they come whenever they want to and a lot of them are either in my head or in my notebook that I keep. I find it more motivating to write in that notebook somehow rather than save drafts on here-it’s like I can feel the energy of what I thought when I see my writing on the pages but it’s not the same with an wp draft. But yeah if I feel behind, I tell myself that I shouldn’t force it, the creativity will come on its own when it wants to and I will just take advantage of it then. Then I take a break and go do something else.

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      • You’re right! Since it’s a hobby it should be relaxing and not a burden, right?. I’ll take a notebook around with me, too, that’s a great idea!

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      • Haha yeah! It’s just my policy that it should come naturally. If it doesn’t come, that’s that. I never find it a burden I always find it enjoyable but it’s the hanging worry of all the other things to be done that make it stressful . Ah I can’t wait till the summer, I’ll have lots of time to relax and write and draw! I don’t take the notebook with me-it has too many ideas and it’s too precious to risk losing it. No, that stays at home but if I really can’t remember an idea I’ll write it down on whatever I have and keep it or if have no paper I use the notes app on my phone. They both work.

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  3. I have an irresistible urge to write. I can’t imagine not writing. How about sharing some of your drawings here? If you have a printer with scanning you could do that. Juliana mentioned reading. That’s so important, not just for pleasure, but to learn new things. I’m always thinking, observing, making mental notes so I can incorporate it in a post. I had hoped to write a novel. I found short stories, mostly based on some truth, are my forte. I hope you find your balance. Nothing you write has to be wordy. I’ve found most folks appreciate something short and easy reading. If it’s overly long I think folks lose interest.

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    • Oh no, I do have the urge to write-don’t doubt it! It’s the finding time to do the writing and not the wanting to. But as I said I have the urge to draw as well. I need my dose of creative time each day, and that’s either drawing or writing. Or both. And I do share my drawings it’s just on a separate blog here: theblackace.wordpress.com Feel free to have a look and tell me what you think! I know that it doesn’t have to be wordy-I can’t do wordy in fact, I’m far more likely to write something concise and short than rambly and long. But I want to do justice to what I write about, so the only short option is poetry, which I do. I will be the first to confess that I have a short attention span and while I won’t say tl; dr I will think it and move on. Thanks for the input!

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    • I’m an avid reader and always have been, of all things. I have an entire library of mental notes as you put it, filed away for future use. And I do use them in the novel I’m writing, but the way they done together makes it totally impossible to think where they come from. I don’t even remember anymore some of them. It’s really interesting though that I can’t write short stories. As I said I’m quite concise but I like a good developed plot with all it’s intricacies and that is something I’m as yet incapable of capturing in a short story. So well done to you! A longer novel or novella helps me get that depth and background that I like.

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      • I’m an entirely different spot than you are because I’m retired. I sure didn’t mean to sound preachy if I did. I just like to encourage people. I think that it’s good for us to share our frustrations on our blog. People are interested in our thoughts and our feelings, because they have them too.

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      • Haha that’s very true. I know I could vent on my blog and while people might be interested in my thoughts or even a rant once in a while, I for one don’t like reading when people write about their frustrations in an annoyed sort of way rather than thinking or laughing it out- I have enough things that annoy me first hand to not want to hear about other peoples troubles. And I don’t want to be that person who makes people feel like I’m giving them second hand problems that are rather less than relaxing. I have other places and people I can vent to after all.

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  4. I am not a professional writer, but I am a professionally-TRAINED writer (English major in college). Nothing bitch-slaps one into the reality of writing like an advanced level rhetoric course where we had to write several lengthy English major-quality essays in a thirteen week semester. This was not freshman composition. The expectations were very high and they were not screwing around with us.

    The high standards must have stuck, because decades later I still feel their instruction in my own work. I’ll be typing along, catch and fix an error, and say to myself “Dr. Miller would kick my ass if I turned it in like this.” I’m STILL writing to please my old professors!

    My average blog article is 1000-1200 words and takes 6-8 hours from blank page to live post. There was a time in my career when an essay like that would take me weeks to complete and would not be as good.

    Writing is like learning how to play a musical instrument. You have to practice a lot, and you won’t be good at it until you’ve stumbled a few zillion times.

    By the way, this post just gave me the idea for my next blog entry! Thanks!

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    • Ah I see. My mum is too, and she taught me how to structure things probably before I was taught in school, but not anymore.

      Yes it does make a huge difference being taught how to write. And I really could not have done that-I hate essays, I always write far too little. For what it’s worth I’d say I’m self taught in terms if writing. I only did English language and literature up to gcse and I got an A in that, but since my blog is more about creative writing type pieces it didn’t make that much of a difference. I’m a a science person and I’m in sciences now so I haven’t has to develop that set of skills for a while.

      But you know, you are exactly right! When I’m doing a post about opinions I can just hear my teacher going-point evidence comment! Or ‘craft your language, take take time over it!’ And little things like ‘my friend and I’ rather than ‘me and my friend’. That probably sounds as if it wouldn’t make too much of a difference but if I skipped all that editing out, I’d sound very different. With time, I think it’s just a little less-usually about 700-800 words and about 4-5 hours on it. Excluding poetry, I can write that very quickly and I don’t believe in editing it.

      I like your analogy of wiring being like playing an instrument. It’s something you enjoy but something you need to practice to enjoy even more. I really enjoy it at the moment and I’m not actually too focused on the practice aspect of it- I think it’s up to a standard where I can be proud of it, so I don’t need to push it to improve especially. It will improve on it’s own as I wrote more. As I said it’s finding the time to do that.

      You’re welcome! You wrote stuck for ideas a little while back, right? And also thanks-I really appreciate the new perspective you brought 🙂

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  5. I feel your pain. I am in a similar situation. There is some great advice given out though on Word Press. One of which is just to sit and free write. Just write until it is done, don’t worry about editing until later. And I am going to try that.

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    • Oh I never worry about editing! That was never a problem for me because I only end up fixing very minor things when I edit-things that no one but me would notice anyway. So sometimes I do write and it flows beautifully, and it’s so liberating for all those cages ideas of mine. In fact the problem is that it flows even when I can’t write it down and stop what I’m doing. Or when I know there is something I can’t ignore to do after I write. And THEN it doesn’t want to flow when I have the time. But I don’t force it so I just read or draw instead then. Thanks for the input and tell me how you get on with that new writing strategy!

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