I forgot today was my day to post here. Usually we try to have our posts up in the morning, and it was dinnertime when I had an OHNOES moment and realised I hadn’t done anything. Then my son and I had a karate class to go to, so here I am: it’s after 9pm, my legs are tired from kicking invisible bad guys, and I’m drinking tea from a Lady Rainicorn mug and eating crackers and olive dip.
It’s not my finest moment.
I know I should go easy on myself — I have a load of excuses I could give you for why I forgot (single mother working full time, yadda yadda yadda) — but the thing is that, despite everything going on in my life, I am usually pretty good with stuff like this.
How do I do it? I’m glad you asked. 😉
I set reasonable goals. My standard word count goal per week when I’m drafting is only 2000 words. This count excludes writing-related things that aren’t actually writing. I accumulate my word count over two or maybe three writing sessions of up to an hour each, either in between washing and other chores on a weekend or on a week night once the boy is in bed but before I pass out. I don’t watch TV pretty much ever, which helps.
If I want to slack off and do something for fun, I bribe myself. Last month I blogged about rewarding yourself for good behaviour. Sometimes, for me, it’s more like extortion. “Want to play Minecraft? You need to write at least 500 words. GO!” (Yes, I play Minecraft. My friends moved interstate and we have a server; it’s actually a relaxing way to spend an evening, building ridiculous things made of one-metre-square blocks.)
If I can’t write when I should, I do another productive thing. This ties into the previous point. There are always other things I could be doing: blog posts, reviews, synopses, queries, advertising, researching, plotting, scheming… you get the idea.
I schedule things. I don’t mean appointments and whatnot, though I do that too; I mean on social media. WordPress lets you schedule blog posts (and I expect Blogger does too). Tweetdeck lets you schedule tweets. Facebook lets you schedule posts to pages (though not to personal accounts — not yet). Hootsuite lets you schedule posts to a bunch of social media pages (currently Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, Instagram and YouTube). This functionality is great if I have a blogging afternoon, where I write two or three posts and want to space them out rather than spamming my readers.
It is also how I manage to post my blog posts on schedule … today notwithstanding.
Are you a writer, a parent, or both? How do you manage to keep everything straight? Do you make lists? Plan obsessively? Wing it and hope for the best? I’d love to know I’m not alone!