Structuring Time

One of the perils of working the evening shift is that you tend to let the inexorable approach of WORK eat the enthusiasm out of your morning. In many ways working nights agrees with me, but lately I’ve been feeling it’s become an excuse for my scattershot writing habits.

I’ve done pretty well over the past few years generating words and being productive, but mostly in snatches: a hundred words on my lunch break here, a story submission in the morning there, an occasional trip to Lulu’s on the weekend. But there hasn’t been much rhyme or reason to my writing life. I’m getting things done in spite of my behavior, rather than because of it.

It’s time to get serious.

This week, I’ve started structuring my mornings. From now on, every weekday from 10 AM to noon is going to be ass-in-chair Writing Time, come hell or high water. At least a half an hour of that will be raw wordage. The rest will be whatever writing-related business happens to be on my constantly updated to-do list: submitting stories, outlining, agent research, writing synopses, collating critiques, and so on. I feel like it’s time to turn the corner and put time into my other job: writing. It doesn’t pay much — usually nothing! —  but it never will if I don’t start putting some effort into it.

Ramping up my commitment to writing will probably mean cutting other things out of my routine: I’ll be scaling back on leisure hobbies like video games, movies, and music, and my blogging will probably take a hit. That stuff will have to move to weekends and vacation days, though I hope to squeeze in the odd blog post between lunch and heading off to work. But I figure I’ll have to make some tradeoffs if I’m ever going to start ticking things off my list.

Speaking of which, one of the items on my list was writing this post. I figure going public is a good way to dare myself into sticking to the schedule. So, yeah: Tick! Wish me luck!

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