Friday, July 9, 2010

To Schedule or Not to Schedule

Phew…another summer upon us. With having school aged children (Nicole-15 / Hayley-12) I always welcome the end of the school year. Even though I remain on schedule with writing/marketing and my virtual assistant position I find it a calmer pace without the endless schoolwork deadlines, art classes, and sporting events. And it helps the girls are certainly at an age where they are quite independent. My best laid plans are to write/market in the morning before the rest of the house rises and then tackle my responsibilities of a virtual assistant.

I’d enjoy hearing from you as to what your summer plans are to keep up your writing momentum. I look forward to your visit.


  1. Waking, writing, and marketing before the rest of the house wakes is definitely working for me. I've dusted off previously rejected ms too and I'm working on the final edits to submit today. And my media kit has been approved by the publisher and is ready to go once I receive the ISBN # for The Golden Pathway.

    I look forward to hearing what you've been working on and your schedule.

    Best wishes,

  2. I only have a part-time "day job", so my personal schedule stays much the same during the summer as during the school year. The only difference is I don't have to wake my daughters, who will turn 15 and 12 this month.
    Every morning, I make myself a goals list, which includes housework and activities with my kids as well as writing and promotional activities. Back in April, I also set myself a goal of submitting 16 things (I write romance under a different name as well as YA)between April 30 and October 31, and I broke that goal into weekly steps, so that helps me stay on track. I hit the halfway point of that goal on Wednesday.
    As far as scheduling time to work, I don't really. I write and promote in the mornings before work on my work days, or before I take off to do something with my kids on my days off. Some days I'm too tired to do much, so I just write and promote most of the day.

  3. Hi Jo:

    Sounds like you have a good plan in place. Congratulations on meeting half your goal. You are doing terrific. Our children are the same ages. It's a great time. Independent enough, but still want to spend time with me.

    Best wishes,

  4. I try to get my writing done before noon but that may change some with my NICU job as I will only be working 3 nights a week and will have more free days to write past noon. I have a writing buddy who helps me to stay accountable for my time every week, even in the summer. And like you, I feel so much better when I can get the writing done before anything else. I got my first ISBN number yesterday and my prayer book for adults with cancer will be coming out in the fall, woo hoo! Now if some of the work for children will find a home, I will feel successful. Thanks for your support the past couple of years. It has been very encouraging.

  5. Hi Terri:

    First and foremost you are successful! Congratulations in the receipt of your ISBN exciting! Keep us posted on the publication date.

    Writing buddies are terrific. I have one too and it definitely helps with the accountability.

    Best wishes for your continued success!

  6. I'm a full-time homeschooing mom with a 17, 15, and 9 year old.

    I am not naturally organized and because I have a writing project (my first book) that I wish to complete by the end of the summer, (or else it won't get done) I have had to carve out the time on specific days to do this.

    I have found that being available 24/7 for everyone for so long has created an environment of perhaps not taking seriously that I have a "job".

    Mornings are also best for me when everyone is sleeping. I feel most inspired then and have the most energy. So, a definite 2 hours on Mondays, Wed, and Fri from 8-10am is my schedule. Then by fall, I will hopefully have it routine and can keep at it with some minor adjustments.


  7. Kathleen:

    You certainly have your plate full. Setting boundaries is so important. For the longest time I was a yes person too and it just got me overwhelmed. Once I started setting those boundaries my writing started to flow much better.

    Unfortunately many people don't understand that working from home/writing/teaching from home is harder then going to an office, etc.

    Best wishes in meeting your goals,

  8. Even though I am on summer vacation from teaching , I still get up around 5 am each day. After praying I go workout for an hour. Upon my return from the gym I spend most of the morning writing. After lunch I work on spring/summer cleaning projects. I start with going through every thing I do not need, put them in a bag to take to Goodwill. I love getting rid of things I do not need. A well organized house and office helps my mind with being more receptive for fresh ideas . Later in the afternoon before my husband gets home from work , I usually work on my freelance writing projects. Summer time is by far my favorite, I love the freedom I have to schedule my time for writing and de-cluttering my house. I believe those two things go hand in hand. A cluttered space make me very edgy and I am not able to get inspired. I try to take notice of everything around me. Yesterday, my yoga teacher made a profound statement that inspired me to start a PB manuscript on what she said. The ideas started flowing around in my head, I had to rush home and write it down so I would not forget it. Thank you Donna for this wonderful opportunity to share. You are the very best!

  9. Donna, I don't have any youngs ones home from school for the summer or the need to reschedule my life, but I really do feel it's important to act as if you do live on a schedule when you write. Being such a solitary occupation, it's easy (as I well know!) to get sidetracked, so I really feel you need to set boundaries and have a time schedule set aside so you can work without interruption. Lots of times it doesn't work for me, but I think we all need to look at our work as "jobs" and plan as though we are going into a "real" office. Othewise life and everything else gets in the way and we won't get a thing done.

  10. I try to keep myself busy writing during the summer, except I don't keep a schedule like the one during school days. It's more unpredictable.

  11. My kids are up and out, so unless they descend on me, my summer is much like my winter and fall, not connected to the school schedule. But I do have my own schedule: I like early mornings (4 to 6). Yoga first then email, blog, business OR write before anyone else is awake. It's the Yoga that gets things going for me.

  12. Donna,

    I have been writing in the mornings from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. for a while. And I intend to keep this schedule all summer, except because I am off of teaching, I will probably put in a few hours in the afternoon as well.

    I am in the middle of writing three E-books for adolescents and one for arthritis sufferers. I also have two books which will be published this fall, an academic book and a prayer book for arthritis sufferers. So, I am very, very excited.

    I have a writing partner who keeps me accountable and I find her really motivating and uplifting. I always feel so much better after I talk to her.

    Have a great summer!

  13. Well, it's been summer here for a couple of months now! No kids. No husband. Can get kinda lonely.

    But, as far as the summer is going, I am taking the month of July off. No writing, no blog interviews, just checking emails. Hopefully, will feel refreshed and invigorated.

  14. Take a month off and I'd go crazy. I would go crazier. My writing schedule is as regimented as always. From 7:00 AM - noon or 1:00 PM I'm having my physical therapy and breathing treatment.

    My disabilities cause me to make typos at least 1 every 5 words. Half my time is spent fixing the gobble-d-goook I've written.

    I write as soon as I get finished with my therapies until 11:30 or 1:00 AM. At sometime during the day I nap a couple hours.

    Often I have to take time to smooth my caregiver's ruffled feathers (a royal regular pain in the butt).

    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer
    Children's Book Author & Inspirational Spokesperson
    Klutzy Kantor & Marta Gargantuan Wings

  15. My schedule is hectic like always. I love it though. With kids out of school I don't have a timeclock to run by. I have a flexible full-time work schedule so after I've written my mss I go to work. I have my older kids helping with marketing since they are off from school for the summer so that helps a lot.

  16. I try to get my online stuff done in the AM before everyone else is up. Then I'll pop online throughout the day if I need to. After that, it's writing, reading, research throughout the day. There is also the laundry, dishes, meals, grocery shopping that all need to be figured into the day. Some days are smoother and more productive than others. : )

  17. Suzanne...I love the am when everyone is still sleeping, it's my most productive time!

    Kate...where is everyone? Enjoy your time off!

    LM...glad to hear you have a flexible work schedule, it certainly helps. Love the idea of putting your kids to work!

    Mayra...Good for you, go with the flow.

    Lee...I'm a Pilates girl myself. Can't start the day without it!

    Irene...congrats on your book deals. A writing partner is key for me too!

    Nicole...I too lvoe the process of decluttering, makes my brain work better.

    Nancy...Setting boundaries is key for me too and I try my best not to get sidetracked.

    Jessica...Phew! You have a packed a schedule and all your hard work is paying off. Congrats on all your contracts with GAP!

    Thank you one and all for chatting it up today! I enjoyed getting to know everyone better.

    Best wishes for a great weekend,

  18. Wow, Donna, this is a popular topic. This summer has been a bit disorganized for me. Having my teenage boys home throws off my normal "house-to-myself-during-the-day" schedule. We've been running around a lot to activities and whatnot. This discussion has made me realize I need to put myself on more of a schedule to get everything accomplished for the rest of the summer.

    Thank you for starting the conversation. I've enjoyed reading how other writers schedule their days. Very helpful. :o)

  19. Hi Donna...sounds like you've got a busy schedule worked up for yourself.

    I've been working on a revision of my first novel, a YA fantasy, with the help of my new critique group. I'm really clicking with this group of peeps.

    The most exciting thing coming up for me is the SCBWI LA Conference! Only a few weeks left!

  20. Beth and Katie...thanks for stopping by.

    Beth, when the girls are home I feel like I need my writing schedule more.

    Katie...good for you and how exciting about the LA SCBWI. Enjoy!

    Best wishes,

  21. I'm finding it difficult to keep up with my usual schedule with constant interruptions that I don't normally have through the school year. At first I was agitated but I've pretty much given in to it. It's not a real holiday for me but I'm resigned to getting less done and if more gets done then "yeah, for me." Can you believe it's the last week in July already?!


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