The awesome author and fellow Texan Varian Johnson recently wrote a blog post about time management for writers. justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2010/02/23/guest-post-varian-johnson-on-battling-time-suck/
The post is chock-full of great advice about finding the time to write.
None of them work for me.
You see, Varian is an engineer. Which to me, the liberal arts graduate, means he has a completely different skill set that enables him to impose discipline and order to his schedule.
In addition, I’m a mom. And all moms know that like drinking and driving, kids and schedules just don’t mix.
In other words:
Kids + Writing Schedule = Chaos
Now, I know a lot of you writers out there are dads as well. Don’t get your boxers all in a bunch. These guidelines can help you as well. I even invite you to add more of your own.
Actually, I only have one guideline for time management.
Do everything half-assed, except the things that are the most important to you.
Seriously. Somewhere along the way, especially in the Southern states in my opinion, we moms have got it into our heads that we have to do everything great, terrific, PERFECT even. Blame it on Martha Stewart, excessive graduate programs or those damn Little Einstein programs which make you feel like a failure if your kids are reading/writing/para-sailing before preschool.
It ain’t so.
Determine what’s most important in your life. Concentrate on that and let everything else slide.
My important things – the holy trinity if you will – are:
THEY ARE ALL EQUALLY IMPORTANT. Really.
The rest of the stuff I try not to let take up my limited time and brain space.
My challenge to you is to sit down and look at your life and how you spend you time. For example, make a list of all the things you can GIVE UP.
Here’s a few from my list:
Hand-writing thank-you cards.
Making thank-you cards.
Sending any sort of card in general.
Actually most housework at all come to think about it.
Wearing make-up unless contractually obligated
(Please see previous glamour shot of me at my desk.)
Cooking elaborate meals when a carb, a veggie and a protein of choice will suffice.
Washing the car.
Washing in general.
Just kidding on the last item but do you see where I’m going with this?
Time management all boils down to spending the most amount of your time doing things that are important to you. Everything else is fluff. In fact this advice isn’t just for moms who write or not. It’s good advice for all of us: moms, dads, singletons and everything in-between.
So put down that handmade thank you card and go do something you really care about.
I promise Martha won’t mind.