As I’m not yet a full-time writer, this is a hard one to answer. I would like very much to keep regular hours with my writing, but teaching and taking care of kids often have to take priority. I don’t have exact times set for my writing beyond “Write for one hour, after the kids sleep” and “Blog for one hour every Wednesday after work”. My schedule has to be flexible, which means these times can move earlier or later as needed.
There’s an advantage in this way – I’m flexible and I can change plans easily. And of course, there’s a HUGE disadvantage – “After the kids sleep”could end up being well after midnight (when my energy reserves very quickly go kaput). My wife and I may need an important talk, right in the time I had set for writing. My writing ideas may simply not come to me at all (they usually come at times like the middle of a freaking class while I’m teaching – that’s a whole other blog post). Distractions about on the internet, and sometimes I feel like I NEED them (oh look, I wasted all my writing time on 9gag.com, what a pity).
I do need a more fixed schedule, and I’m with Dianne Salerni on this one – it’s damn hard. I think I will have to sit down with my wife to establish “Do Not Disturb” writing hours. And yet, I will also have to allow for things like games and mindless entertainment. I can’t work all the time, but I can’t mope around feeling like I don’t do enough either!
Originally Posted by Dianne Salerni at http://diannesalerni.com/do-full-time-writers-keep-office-hours
I was pondering that question this weekend when I ignored my lengthy To Do list on Sunday afternoon and read a book for fun.
I felt guilty about it. Because, you know, I quit that lucrative teaching gig to do this writing thing.
Yes, I had other reasons for leaving a profession that was rapidly heading in a direction I didn’t want to go. That doesn’t take the feeling of pressure off.
WHAT I NEEDED TO DO ON SUNDAY:
- Figure out where I’m supposed to go next in the 1st draft of my WIP
- Do the background reading I need for two potential projects and take notes
- Write my blogs for the week
- Research pricing for school visits and start putting together promotional information
- Research a list of people to contact for school visits
- Stop freaking out and thinking I will never again have another good idea or finish another book
WHAT I DID INSTEAD:
- Read a book in my hammock
Read more here: Do Full Time Writers Keep Office Hours?.