Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Making Time...

In my quest to write a novel, I used to whine a lot about never having any time to write. Then I read a lot of "if you want it bad enough, you will make time" posts and I realized that was exactly what I had to do. I guess it was sort of an unofficial New Year's resolution (since I don't make resolutions).

So, with nothing really to go on, I came up with a plan. I started by printing out the weekly calendar view from Outlook. I work an 8 hour day, with a 30-40 minute commute each way. I have two young children. I have a husband who is a farmer and keeps weird hours. I decided the easiest thing to do was focus on my evening hours. Weekends are a kind of see what happens time because I work some Saturdays too.

I started this in the middle of a week, so I crossed out the days that had passed. I populated anything that I had already scheduled. Luckily, my kids are too young to be in a lot of activities yet and I'm not a social butterfly. I budgeted out the remaining time for every evening that was left in the week. It looked something like this...

6-6:30 Exercise
6:30-7:15 Supper
7:15-8:15 read
8:15-9:15 write
9:15-10 shower, pre-bed activities...because I have to be in bed by 10 in order to function the next day

Each day allows for different things. Like Monday 7-8 is blocked out for Chuck. Wednesday is laundry night. Thursday is clean-up/put away laundry night. And Tuesday is kids night and nothing else.

It's not a perfect system. Like I said, I have two young kids. They require a lot of attention and my husband isn't always there to help. So I juggle and shuffle things around a little. But so far, it's working. I get a little reading and writing done every day. Not much, but some. The next step will be to figure out a daily word count goal. That's a little harder because I don't have a definite word count ultimate goal in mind. It's a fly by the seat of my pants kind of thing.

For more about this time budget, you can read this post at Better Writing Habits. I read it after I started by budget, but it applies.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On Writing...

So one of my goals this year was to write more. I had it in my head that that meant to finish what I was working on. Not that I wouldn't start anything new. Just don't start anything new until I had FINISHED WHAT I HAD ALREADY STARTED!

I have failed.

For a while now, I've had it in my head that I wanted to rewrite 'Cowboys and Angels,' which is the first novel I ever wrote. I love and hate the title at the same time. It sounds too much like a trashy romance novel to me; but I suck at titles and that's what I always called it. I started to do some edits on it. Then I got more into YA and decided I could rewrite it as YA. I've thrown around some ideas, written out some plot points, but that's as far as it went.

Then it started to snow and I wanted to write a pretty snow scene. Like a kissing in the rain scene. But a walking in the snow scene. So I wrote it as part of the rewrite. Then I started at the beginning. So far, it's only a page but how I want it to be more!

So I'm doing what I always do. Drop something completely because I got a good idea and want to run with it. This is why I have a hard time finishing things. This is why I get so frustrated with myself. Grr...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Challenge I Can Handle...

This is the Read to Me Picture Book Challenge. I'm not good when it comes to linking in a pretty way, so there it is. I'm going to shoot for the Feeding level because I think that's easily obtainable. We read two books last night, Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny Too. The hard part will be the reviews. Anybody who has seen my Goodreads page knows I'm not the best book reviewer. I always wrote crap book reports in school too. But I'll do my best with this one! You should try it!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Goals

x-posted at LJ

I got my notebook out this morning and during the course of my regular, credit analyst duties, I've been randomly writing down some goals for myself in 2011. I don't do resolutions. They are too easy to break. But goals, goals are acheivable. Especially if you write them down. If you write them down and keep them in a place where you have to look at them all the time, then they haunt you and guilt you into acheiving them. I used to be really good at keeping a list of goals. I think I started one last year...but I didn't look at it all the time and I probably lost it. I had a list in high school that included things like moving to Australia with my best friend. I don't think our husbands would go for that now. Oh well.

So here's my list (so far) of my goals for 2011 (in no particular order)...
- Read more
- Write more
-finish the two stories I have started
- Crochet more
- Be a better parent
-yell less
-be more active (coloring, writing, drawing, painting, etc)
- Spend less
- stop buying things I don't *really* need
- Be more aggressive
- Eat healthier
- Exercise more

There you have. Pretty standard stuff. Some I've already got a start on. Go me.