Time: The hard and fast truth from one perspective.

Time is a fickle thing. I know it’s over said and cliché, but that’s because it’s true.

This morning, I opened my email box to find 2875 unread emails. To be fair, I have two email accounts for Lynne. One is linked to my website and I use it mainly for submissions and communication with my editor and I check it at least twice a day, the other is linked to the forums and loops I follow. The second is the one with 2875emails.

My Google reader is at an even 250 unread blogs. Thank you all for linking your blogs to twitter, I do check twitter several times a day, although not always in my Lynne persona, but if I see your blog, I will click on it.

My point isn’t to complain, or whine, although I admit it may sound like it. I'm simply frustrated. With myself, mostly.

My goal had been to check the Google reader once a day and then when I realized this was usually late at night when I was too tired to see straight and should not be commenting on blogs, I adjusted my expectations to once a week. I still haven’t done that. The 2875 emails are mostly from loops containing links that interest me, people that interest me. Things it would be smart to pay attention to if I’m going to be successful in this crazy business called writing.

However, when I was up on my Google reader, on top of the loops and promo activities, there was no time to write.

I realize there is a balance somewhere, but quite frankly, I haven’t found it. And this is why I'm frustrated. There is only so much time during the day.

Last week I took the week ‘off’ of work, I mean the kind that pays the bills. I usually work on my NF about 6 hours a day. I reduced that to 1 hour a day and spent those 5 hours writing, researching my writing, etc. The etc being the constant interruptions by children for things like lunch, breakfast, fights, stories, and I’m homeschooling my son this year throughout the summer. I didn’t blog or check blogs or worry about either, I just wrote.

Throughout the day, I got a solid 4 hours a day in. And you know what? Despite my fears, I haven’t forgotten to write, I just haven’t been giving myself the necessary time in which to do so. I wrote over 10 K in one week, vs the 600 words per week I was eking in. But unless I want to move the kids into a cardboard box, I need to work.

Recently I read a blog in which the author was musing about her reduced writing schedule due to summer vacation. She’d said she’d only have 4 or so hours to write a day. I turned every shade of green imaginable. What I wouldn’t give for even 2 solid hours to write every day and that was her reduced time? She wasn’t exactly complaining, but stating a fact and she’s a successful and prolific writer whom I admire.

It’s hard not compare my output with hers. Hell, it’s hard not to compare my output to many other writers. Although I celebrate their new releases, I’m beginning to worry about mine, or the lack thereof--not just about production, but promotion. Sales are down. I need a new book to interest people in my back log. It’s hard not to panic that besides the stories I have with editors now; I have nothing close to submission ready. And no guarantee those submissions will be contracted which will be 3 more months on another editors desk.

*I will not panic. I will not panic.*

I have heard often that a writer will write no matter what and I know it’s true. I find myself writing short stories using my 4 yo’s sight words so she can read a book all by herself, making up little stories for my 9 yo. But there is more to writing than writing. It’s a business. A business that takes time.


April Vine said...

Lynne, what an insightful blog, one that certainly made me sit up and rethink my own low productivity which shamefully I have no excuse for.
I admire and respect you, for not only doing everything you do, but on top of that for also finding the time to write books I've utterly enjoyed reading and will keep looking forward to many more!
Thank you :)

Cari Quinn said...

Incredible post, Lynne. I wish I had more intelligent comments to offer than that, but believe me, I know how you feel. You forget you know how to do this, because all the other stuff gets in the way. Life stuff. Family stuff. And fighting your way clear is the only way to get back to you, and eventually, the heart of the story you're trying to write.

But as far as finding a balance? No clue how to do it. I'm still trying. But as I've told you before, you amaze me - as a woman, a mother and an author. And you're a terrific friend too. So you're doing something very right. :)

Lynne Roberts said...

You two seriously made me tear up. Thank you both so much. Not just for your encouraging words but for always being there with a quick comment, or quip, or even just saying hi. It means a lot to know I'm not talking to myself out here. ; )