Freedom! Finding Peace with My Work Schedule

(c) istockphoto, Anna Bryukhanova, 2007

After weeks of overworking and pushing myself too hard, I’m finally feeling good about my schedule again. I couldn’t sustain the effort and time I was spending on writing, writing-related activities, my other work, family obligations, and the activities of life in general. Every day of one week I did nothing but work from the moment I woke up until bed at 2 am. It was crazy.

I’m still working at least 10 or 12 hours a day, but I’ve been taking some much-needed time off in the evenings. And I have organized my office, my task list system, and how I manage my emails. I’m even getting caught up on a few things as time allows but not freaking over every little thing that doesn’t get done.

I’ve returned to a schedule that works for me. I write or edit in the morning. Then in the afternoons and early evenings I take care of emails, any writing-related business stuff, my freelance work, and try to do at least a bit of social networking or promotion-type activities. I’m really working hard to cut off for the night with some time before bed to spend with my sweetie (a priority for me this year), to read more, and to just have some non-writing fun.

It’s very freeing to find a schedule and organization system that fits me and how I work. Even though I’m still doing as much (and maybe more), I’m squeezing it into smaller amounts of time. I’ve found a tranquil acceptance of my schedule, my writing process, and how much I can reasonably produce in a year. I’m still a slow writer (or I should say re-writer), but I’m picking up the pace as I go.

I’m sure there will always be some level of stress (this is a tough business, after all), but having a more reasonable schedule as often as I can will help fuel the fire when I need it most.

And ultimately, my worst day writing is better than my best day at the old corporate job. There’s nothing I’d rather spend my time doing.

Thanks for listening,

6 thoughts on “Freedom! Finding Peace with My Work Schedule

  1. I understand completely. Everything here. This is a tough business and it’s multiple jobs all headed under the guise of ‘Writing’. It’s easy to lose sight of everything else when you’re pressuring yourself, when your readers want more, when your editors are clamoring for more (I haven’t experienced this one yet, but I know some do) and when you add up the writing, the marketing, the promo, the blogging, the emails, the revising, the edits, the synopsis, the web maintenance, the brainstorming, the social media, etc… That’s a lot of jobs.

    I recently went through this same thing and have made myself MAKE time in my day for my family, other things I love to do that aren’t writing, more reading, and all in all it’s makes Lissa a better writer and a better, happier all around gal.

    My hats off to you, Sloan!

    • Hi Lissa. The list of jobs we take on as writers these days is overwhelming, to say the least. And you’re right about taking time for yourself being an important part of being a writer. We have to feed the muse. The more time I have to spend with my family, to read and enjoy other forms of entertainment, and to simply let the creative part of my brain wander, the happier my muse is.

      Thanks for sharing, Lissa! It means a lot to know I’m not alone. Glad you have found a way to take the time you need. Keep it up! We want you to be a happier all around gal. :)

  2. OMG – I can totally sympathize! Social media kills me, and I know I don’t do as much of it as many others (you included, I think). And my job keeps getting in the way of writing :( Thankfully my hubby is usually content to play video games while I ignore him, but I feel like I should be making more time for him, too!

    You can only do what you can do, otherwise you’re gonna lose that all-important muse!

    • Hey KC! I know what you mean about social media. I see many authors do more on twitter, facebook, blogs, yahoo groups, etc. than I could ever keep up with, and I wonder how they do it. Like you said, we can only do what we can do. I also think it’s easy to overdo it too. Readers want us to write more books most of all. :)

      I hope you can find a balance with the writing and your job and time to spend with the hubby, unless he’s happy with the video games. LOL. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

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