I have a blog post to write for today. I would not have known this if my scheduler had not popped up and informed me of such an hour before it became today.
I haven't given much thought to world-building lately. I haven't given much thought to anything directly helpful to anyone. It's all writing, jotting notes and figuring out details outside the designated working hours, and snatching evening (or afternoon) movies with Hubby in the meantime. Unless you've been working on the meaning for a made-up name with a prefix at the front that happens to be the same as my male lead's name, I don't know if I'll be much use to you right now.
I've lost track where I've explained things and where I haven't, especially when every other Chick has already heard this story at least once. I'll stick to the short version. Surrey Conference + agent pitch + unfinished manuscript = strict writing schedule to finish and allow time for revisions. Thrilling progress and details on Eventide as the weeks go along, but very likely it'll wind up creeping over here anyway as I prepare for the conference and run out of time and brain for other valuable things to say.
Technically I never run out of things to say. The mouth just runs on nothing instead.
I'm into my fourth week of this now. It's going well, except for the whole lack of time thing. I can't expect that to change though, so I'm working to adapt and start using the time I do have better. We all know getting published isn't exactly going to free up hours in my day.
So in the interest of sharing developments as they go along, and hopefully offering a little help in the process, here's how I've been trying to manage my time.
1: Writing. Writing comes first, and I have to hit my word counts every day. I also have to hit them with useful, plot related content, rather than random filler crap I know I'll cut, just so I feel like I hit the numbers. I write during Hubby's work hours, creating designated work days and weekends, alternating days and nights, both of which offer different benefits for my writing routine. Sometimes I'm done in a couple hours. Sometimes it's 8 hours or more. Other times... see #3
2: Prep work. I don't plot, not in the lengthy meaning of the word. I know what scenes will come up soon, and major points I'll hit, but I don't plot it all out before hand. I don't pants either, actually. What I do, however, and I've really had to do when I can't waste my designated writing time farting around, is jot down whatever I need to keep in mind for the scene I'm working on. Character development, emotional issue, plot development (all aka The Point), things I want to touch on (flow of a conversation, backstory hints, world-building details). It's just a good something to have nearby to reference so I don't need to stop and dwell during work hours. I can just look at what my options are on the sheet and pull something in.
3: Catch-up. This last week, we had company over, arranged long before I had this schedule. Understandably, I got rather less than my necessary work done. I still kept to a schedule though. Everyone knew I was off limits at midnight, and I'd write as long as I could. And of course, when football games come on, that's three hours I can't be bothered to care about, in which I can bugger off and go write something compelling (I know, what a horrible Prairie-Dweller I am, for shame). I still fell short during the week, though, so I have to hit higher counts this week, an extra page a day to make up for it, and I'm also not getting weekends -- although 8 hour days don't really work the same on days off.
4: Everything else. All the things that don't matter get put on the back burner to be touched on when the time comes. Blog posts never take priority over writing. I haven't bothered tweeting as much. I have a hoard of tabs open in my internet browser still waiting to be addressed. I have things I need to get done (unpacking? from a month-ago trip? what's that?) that will not get done, and I don't particularly care that they won't. Hitting deadlines means not caring if the dishes are dirty.
5: Rest time. What I won't sacrifice, however, is my time to relax, be idle, let my brain drift on the currents. And most importantly, spend time with Hubby. We may not have as much together on our present schedules as we would have in the past, but that time has always been priority. My Ideal Reader, my best source for brainstorming, the only person willing to spend an hour's car ride talking over the possible meanings of a prefix in a main character's name, I am not about to sacrifice time with my husband. In terms of priorities, this sits right up beside getting the actual writing done. The two reside at opposite sides of the spectrum, however, and I can't place one above the other, since neither is worth compromising.
How do you manage your time? What are your priorities? What sort of goals are you working on, and how are they coming along?