Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What's Your Plan?

One of the questions I get asked most often is whether or not I have a specific writing schedule.

Usually, I respond by explaining that when my kids were younger, I used to write at night, but as they, and I, got older, I tended to do most of my writing while the kids are in school. Makes sense. The house is totally empty and in theory, I should have about six hours of uninterrupted writing time.

Yeah, right. Add in phone calls, walking the dog, errands and all the other various work that I do and that six hours whittles down to maybe one or two at the most. Still a nice chunk of time, although not nearly as impressive as those six!

Well, for the past two weeks, I’ve been lucky if I could find even half of that to write. My book released, and I’ve been on a promo frenzy. The school year is almost done and suddenly my kids need end-of-year project supplies RIGHT NOW. They leave for camp in two weeks and there is packing and shopping an organizing to do (none of which I’ve actually started). And I have a major fundraising project that I’m chairing that is in the organizational stages, which is sucking even more time away from me.

Needless to say, if I write 75 words at a stretch, I do a major cheer.

However, my kids are leaving for camp in two weeks! And that will give me three and a half weeks of uninterrupted writing time. Now, don’t laugh. I know I said that above when I talked about having time while they’re in school. And I know that things will get in the way while they’re away. But my major goal this summer while they’re at camp is to spend the majority of my days writing. Just like I spent February writing 1,000 words a day, I’m aiming for at least that while they’re away. And my incentive, to keep that up, is the NJ Romance Writer’s Put Your Heart in a Book Conference in October. I’m going, and I’m pitching agents on one of the two stories I’m currently writing. I even told my husband I’m not doing any of the house projects I usually tackle while they’re away.

So I have a goal and I have a deadline. I think I’m going to be able to do it. Want to join me?


  1. I get most of my writing done in the summer because school's out! As a teacher, this works opposite of parents, since with parents the kids are around in the summer (barring camp!)

    So my plan is to get going and make some decent progress on a story I started ages ago. No specific time-line of words per day, but by the middle of August, I want to look back and see that those page numbers and word counts gave gone way, way up.

  2. Good luck with your plans, both of you! When I was still working, I was a teacher AND a parent. Not surprisingly, I didn't do much writing in those days!

  3. Good luck, Debra! I'm going to keep a ticker somewhere to keep track of my words and give me a kick in the butt. :)

    Paula, you're the most motivated person I know, so you've more than make up for it!

  4. LOL, Jen, you wouldn't say that if you knew the hours I wasted when I could be writing!

  5. I can't match your free time, Jen, but it would be helpful for me to have a reasonable words per day (or week) goal to meet. A challenge, as it were. Deadlines work for me. It is easy to fritter away time--and to not push through the "No words come" hurdles.

  6. Paula, what I don't know can't hurt me ;)

    Ana, the daily challenge is REALLY helpful for me--plays right into my guilt!!

  7. Self challenges can be good, but can also be demoralising when you don't/can't meet them. The important thing is to set a realistic target for yourself, and not an unreachable goal. Externally set goals can work in the short-term (e.g. NanoWriMo - 50K in a month) but I know I could not do that every month!

  8. You are so right, Paula. I'm thinking about what would be realistic right now.
    I just got in from the garden. I need to cook supper, take a shower and do a thorough check for ticks.

  9. It's 12.30am here, but my goal for tonight is to finish 'Irish Inheritance' first draft - I'm nearly there - squeeeee!

  10. That's why I like the idea of the ticker. I just keep a list of word counts each day. Self motivating, but not demoralizing.

    Oh, and congrats on finishing the draft!