Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back on the Blog Chain: Priorities

Wow, I'm up again on the blog chain. This time, Mandy picked the topic, and a fitting one it is too:

How do you prioritize? How do you balance paying attention to your writing, critiquing for friends, spending time with your family and earning a living?

These days, it seems everyone has too much to do, even if you're a Disney character:

Imagine what it would be like if these guys were parents!

As a working mother, I know it's impossible to keep all aspects of your life perfectly balanced. Some days your child gets sick and you have to leave work early; some times you have to go on a business trip and leave your family. And what with a job to do, a family to look after, and a house to clean, plus a mole (that's 6.02 x 10 to the twenty-third power) of other things demanding your attentions, at times I feel like I and my writing vie for last place.

Here are a couple of tips I follow to make my writing a higher priority:

Set aside time for your writing. I find the best time for this is on my lunch hour at work. Of course, sometimes I have to run errands or choose to do something else, such as blog or play Spider Solitare. But this is the best time I have to focus on my novel. On the weekends, I claim Alex's nap time as my own.

Put your writing first above critting. I hate to say this, because I do enjoy helping others, and it helps you as much as the other person. I used to be quite active on the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, but although I'm still a member, I haven't been to the site in months. I do occasional crits for my friends, but these days my time is so limited I have to focus on my work. I've had to ignore some requests from strangers.

Don't forget what really matters. For me, that means my family. My son has a very late bedtime for a toddler; lately it takes him until almost 10:00 p.m. to go to sleep. It's frustrating because I still have housework and other paperwork to take care of, so I seldom get any writing done at night anymore. But I remind myself Alex will probably be our only child, so I should cherish the time we spend together with him sitting in my lap while I read to him.

That's all I have for now, and I have to get back to writing. Go check out Eric's blog to see his response to this topic!


B.J. Anderson said...

Those are all really great suggestions. Especially putting your work before others. I think every writer would understand that.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

I love the part about your family. My family is great because they get why I disappear for weeks at a time, but when I come up for air, I always make sure to spend quality time with them to make up for it.

Cole Gibsen said...

Great answer and cute video!

christine said...

Excellent tips Sandra!

Eric said...

Great answer. This is very well thought out, and it sounds like you have as much fun with this type of thing as I do :D

Okay, now it's off to take my turn.

Sarah Bromley said...

Great answer, and I like the suggestions. It's hard to find the balance.

Kat Harris said...

Definitely cherish the little one while he's still little. That is so important for writers with kids.

Mandy said...

Mapping out your day and setting aside a chunk of time completely devoted to writing is a great idea. I need to work towards scheduling myself in that way.

Michelle McLean said...

I hear you on the critting. I learn so much from critting other people's work, and I really enjoy helping people polish their work, but I've had to turn down a few requests lately. Hopefully once we get moved and settled I'll have time to start doing more :) Great post!

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