Time Management

>> Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I would really like to finish my short story soon. Yet I have been unable to manage more than a paragraph or two the last couple of nights, after my daughter goes to sleep "for the night." There are so many other things to do: cook, do dishes, shower, do yoga, etc. It's the only time of day that I have much time to accomplish anything. But I feel like I have to choose between several different activities every night, and since the family needs to eat and I desperately have to be clean or I get grumpy, writing doesn't always make the cut.

But now, as my daughter slumbers in her swing for a late afternoon nap, I have some extra time on hand to enjoy a cup of tea and think about how in the world I can find more time for everything. Or at least more time for writing, if possible. This made me wonder: how do different writers manage their time? Do many of you organize blocks of writing time into a strict schedule, or are you more casual about it? What are some techniques that you writers who are also parents use?

This subject has me thinking ahead to Nanowrimo in November, and I'm wondering how I can possibly finish and win it this year if things stay as they are now. I need a better system. I've considered keeping my notebook nearby as I play with my daughter throughout the day, and jotting things down here or there. Of course, this runs the risk of being interrupted a lot and losing some great stuff. It also gives me pause because I don't want it to become a habit. I don't want to be one of those mothers that is always focused on something else and never present in the moment with her kids.

I have a lot to think about.