One of my biggest flaws has always been managing my time efficiently. I am chronically late – ANYwhere, doesn’t matter. When I have spare time, I have no idea what to do with myself… more often than not, I end up watching Hell’s Kitchen or something, instead of being more constructive.
Spare time is rare, as it is. I keep a full time day job which, thankfully, I am able to do from my home. Although being at home does allow me to take notes as story ideas pop up, I still have to make sure the majority of my focus is on work while I’m clocked in. My pay is based on productivity, and I have minimums to make. On top of that, now is our busiest time of year, so for several weeks now there has been a call to arms – mandatory overtime.
When I get off work, there’s no way I’m able to sit and focus on writing. It’s family time, and I have to appease a toddler that’s been begging me to play Transformers with him for the last hour of my work day. Optimus needs an adversary, and that’s my job. (Though sometimes we like to gang up on my fiance.) My little guy is up and running hardcore until about 8 – 8:30 p.m., when we wrestle him into bed and he passes out.
After that, it’s deep breath time – I get to wind down and spend some time with my fiance. This is the only time of day we have alone together, so I don’t immediately tuck my laptop under my arm and run off to a private corner somewhere once the Monster’s in bed. I get to hang with my guy for a bit.
Too often, I don’t sit down and put my full attention into writing at the end of a work day. My brain is fried, and I whine and get lazy about writing, sometimes losing myself in a rousing game of Minecraft before stumbling off to bed. On those days I do get my ass in gear and sit down to write, I end up staying up very late, often not getting to bed until 1 – 2 a.m. Kinda kills my chances of getting up early to write.
If I sound like I’m complaining, I am. I’m lazy by nature. I’m like a house cat – I would lay around and stretch all day long if someone let me, finding little warm squares of sunlight near the windows to curl up in. But, I have to make sacrifices somewhere, and it’s going to be rough until I can quit my day job. No one ever said chasing a dream was easy.
What I was doing was setting aside my Thursday nights as my big writing night (Thursday is Friday for me – the end of my week, and the start of my weekend). I would hang with my fiance until he went to bed between midnight and 1, then migrate to the living room with snacks and Red Bull to write until the wee hours of the morning. Once I started hearing the doves at about 4:30 a.m., I packed up and went to bed, and I was allowed to sleep until the late afternoon. Sometimes I’d do this again on Friday night as well.
It’s a nice idea, and I would usually get a lot done, but this screwed my weekend. I would feel gross and out of it. Besides, that’s only once or twice a week. It has to be more.
Instead, it’s going to have to be me dedicating my spare time to writing, no matter what. If I want to get this thing done, that’s what I have to do.