Another New Writing Schedule

I think the hardest part of writing for me is finding a schedule and sticking to it. And the thing is, it’s not me who has a hard time sticking to the routine, it’s other life things that get in the way.

Now that I’m home during the day while everyone else is at work, this would normally mean I have the entire morning and afternoon to myself to get my writing and blogging done.

Instead, it means, “Rachel’s home, so if something needs to be done, she can do it.” This varies from babysitting to driving my cousins to and from school, running random errands, etc.

I don’t mind any of this, of course. I’m able to do it so I won’t complain (even though it still sounds like I’m complaining). Still, I feel like I don’t get as much stuff done during the day than I normally would… or that I thought I would.

I actually have more stuff to do during the week now that doesn’t involve writing or blogging. So, I’ve decided to come up with a brand new schedule for myself. This is going to only be for the month of February and I’ll modify it if needed when March comes along.

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Sunday

  • Blog, Double Jump – Write posts, create graphics, set up Buffer, etc.
  • Church, Sunday school lesson plans

Monday

  • Admin – Answer emails, read and comment on other blogs
  • Write – A minimum of two hours. Ideally, it’ll be longer, but if I can fit two hours in I’ll be happy.

Tuesday

  • Admin
  • Write

Wednesday

  • Admin
  • Write

Thursday

  • Admin
  • Write
  • Etsy – I was hoping to have a good amount of products done to open the shop in January, but it stuff happened. So I’d like to spend a couple hours on it every Thursday.
  • Freelance – Like Etsy, this is a work in progress. I’m currently trying to set up my own freelance services. I’m planning on having that good to go by the end of the month so there will be more on that later.

Friday

  • Admin
  • Write
  • Clean – Because the house needs attention, too…

Saturday

  • Blog, Rachel Poli – Write posts, create graphics, set up Buffer, plan and write newsletters, etc. I’ve gotten behind, so for this month, I’m going to try to get two weeks done at a time so I can get a good head start for March and upcoming months.
  • Barnes & Noble – Go to the bookstore every morning and either write/edit or work on the blog.

There’s a lot more to it. I have a calendar set up with everything on it but didn’t include it all here. You guys don’t need to know every detail of my life.

Long story short, I’ll be writing Monday through Friday as well as answering emails and such for the blogs. Weekends will be reserved for blogging mostly. And then some. We’ll see how it goes!

What does your writing schedule look like? Do you have a tough time trying to keep up with it? Let me know in the comments below!

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How Am I Doing?

So, we’re not quite halfway through 2016 yet, but I’ve come to realize that I haven’t given you guys an “update” on what I’ve been up to lately.

April was so wrapped up in Camp NaNoWriMo news, March was a lazy month where I barely got anything done, and I can’t even remember January and February, so don’t even ask about that.

I’m banking on the next four months to be really productive! Well… I hope the rest of the year is productive.

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My Monthly Schedule (for the rest of 2016)

May: write/edit
June: outline/edit
July: write (Camp NaNo)
August: write/edit
September: write
October: outline/edit
November: write (NaNo)
December: write (Short Story Sunday)

I try to work out my schedule to collaborate with the NaNo sessions. I also don’t want to be working on the same project two months in a row. Sometimes I get burned out with a project within one month. I couldn’t imagine working on something for two months straight.

So far this schedule has been working well for me.

2016 Writing Goals

1. Prepare George Florence to be query-worthy by the end of the year.

This all depends on how far I get in the novel with my writer’s group. Joining that writer’s group was the best thing I could have done for my novel and I want my group members to be able to read and give me feedback on the entire novel, though I only submit about 20 pages at a time and we only meet once a month.

So I may or may not still be in the editing stage come the beginning of 2017.

2. Finish and edit The Lost Girl for Wattpad.

I have a Wattpad account for a reason. I’m hoping to put last month’s Camp NaNo project on there. Though it still needs quite a bit of work. I’m hoping it will be posted on there in November/December/January. I’m giving myself a little extra time since November and December are busy months.

3. Edit Take Over

This is on the backburner. I wrote this novel a while ago and have edited bits and pieces of it here and there. I do hope to get it published someday, though it’s not my priority at the moment.

If I ever need a break from George Florence or The Lost Girl, I’ll be working on Take Over.

4. Work on short stories

I do plan on entering contests and submitting to magazines. In order to do that, I need to write and edit short stories or poems or something. So that will be done here and there.

So this is where I stand at the moment. I do have a plan even though I sometimes act like I don’t.

If you read my May Goals, you’ll know that I’ll be working on George Florence. It has a lot of editing to get through, but I’ll work on it for the first half of the month, up until the 15 of May. That’s when I submit the next part to my writer’s group and then we don’t meet until the end of the month.

So from the 15 through the rest of the month I’ll work on something else.

It’ll be the same thing with June and so on.

I know I just said that I didn’t want to work on a project two months in a row, but I think taking half a month off in between will be good for now. I have a lot of work to do on George Florence and that novel is my top priority at the moment.

So that’s where I currently stand on my writing projects. I have lots and lots of editing ahead of me.

What are you major goals for your writing? What are you currently working on?

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Write, Game, Repeat

I started that new schedule this week. I figured I should try to get myself into a decent routine now to make everything easier when I have to ease back into work and babysitting in a couple of weeks.

For Monday through Thursday (and Saturdays) I want to spend a good chunk of my day writing.

Except I can’t sit down at my laptop for six hours straight typing. I’m sure my fingers would get lazy, my eyes would cross, and headaches would emerge.

If you know me at all, you know I love to play video games.

So for the past couple of days this week I’ve been going back and forth between writing and playing video games.

Kris and I have been doing it together to make it less lonely. We write for an hour then play video games together for an hour. Then repeat.

It’s as simple as that. We get our work done and get to relax and recharge at the same time.

If only I could do that every day for the rest of my life.

Write… Play video games… Repeat…

Scheduling My Life

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Via Pinterest

Summer is (unfortunately) coming to a close. School is going to start back up whether we like it or not; which means I’m going to have to go back to work.

I love my job; I love the kids and my co-workers. The hours are ideal even though the pay could be better (isn’t that like every other job?).

Despite that, I have to admit that I’m dreading going back to work. I’ve gotten a lot done this summer when it comes to my blog, my writing, and even reading. I’ve had a good system going and I’m afraid that all of that is going to be–for lack of a better word–ruined once work starts back up.

I work Monday through Friday for six and half hours each day. I’m also going to be babysitting three afternoons a week right after work. That’s a new family, too. I’m sure I’ll be babysitting for the other family as well, so it’s possible I may be babysitting four or five days a week.

Plus, Sunday school is going to start up as well. So that’s another thing on my to-do list.

My biggest concern is that I’m not going to be able to keep up with my writing. I love teaching, but writing is what I really want to do for a career. It’s hard to balance starting that while needing to have a day job–plus more.

I decided a schedule for myself about a month ago. I kept to it for about a week and then I went on vacation; twice. So I never really got a chance to test it out.

I don’t start back to work until the second week of September. So until then I’m going to try out this schedule and see how it goes. That way I can get as much done as I can before work starts and also–hopefully–be able to ease the two schedules together when the time comes.

Sunday: Sunday school plans; I want to write my lesson plans well in advance. That way I can leave Sundays open. I can write, blog, do extra Sunday school things, or relax and have a day off.

Monday-Thursday & Saturday: Write; Before or after work/babysitting, I want to get at least one or two hours of writing or editing done. For Saturdays, Kris and I will hopefully still have the opportunity to go to Barnes & Noble and write. That will give me a good couple of hours to get some things done.

Friday: Blog; My posts for Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are the only posts that are not planned and not written in advance. All the other days are planned and written ahead of time so I just have to hit the “publish” button on WordPress and be on my merry way. I hope to spend an hour or two on Fridays working on blog posts. That way I can have a few weeks done in advance.

Balancing writing with a day job and life in general is tough; especially when you have a lot on your plate and many ambitions like I do.

How do you schedule your writing to fit in with your day job?

 

There’s Always Tomorrow

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This week has been so off from routine for me that I am utterly exhausted; scratch that–I’m super overtired. I have a ton of energy, but I think that’s because I did’t have a normal schedule this week.

Usually, on Monday my schedule consists of work, babysitting, then home. Since it was Memorial Day, I didn’t have work and didn’t have to babysit. I ended up getting some things done with my day off, but it ended there.

Tuesday I usually have work and that’s it. Instead I worked, went home, then babysat for five hours into the night. I got back late not getting a whole lot of sleep.

Wednesday I usually go to work, babysit for an hour, then come home. I had work (and it was field day for the kids so it was super busy) and came straight home because they didn’t need me babysitting.

Thursday I go to work, then babysit for four hours, then come home. Again, I only had work on Thursday.

Friday I usually have work and then I’m home for the weekend. I ended up going to work, then babysit, then straight to my friend’s house for the rest of the night.

It was a busy week and work itself was super busy because one of the teachers in my classroom was out all week. My routine was just completely thrown off.

I barely got any writing or reading done this week because of it. I tried writing one day and then my laptop crashed, so that didn’t help for the time being.

Anyway, today is another busy day, but I hope to be able to get some things done later on.

Hopefully, I’ll get back into my routine next week. My babysitting schedule will be different because the school year is winding down, but I’ll be babysitting less–not more.

I can’t wait to get into a routine for the summer. Three more weeks of work–15 days!

Out Of Routine

I love February vacation. I don’t spend six hours of my day at work, so I’m able to get a lot of things done. However, the things I want to get done don’t necessarily get done. I still have homework to do.

So today I did some homework, then went out to lunch (which was fun) and then have been doing more homework. I have two assignments left to do, but I’m done with homework for the time being. I need a break. So they’ll get done sometime tomorrow.

No writing today. I’ve having been writing or editing very much lately because of work and homework and such. I thought I would be able to get a lot of writing done this week because I don’t have work. Except I’ve been thrown off my routine so I haven’t been doing much anything lately.

Tomorrow is Friday, which means vacation is just about over. Next week I’ll be able to get back into my writing routine and hopefully gets somethings done.

Sometimes I feel like my routine gets me in a rut so I look forward to vacation. Then I get out of my routine and I feel so discombobulated.

Passed A Deadline

So, I made a schedule for myself for my Detective Florence series up until the end of May of next year. My first deadline was yesterday and guess what? I missed it.

School has officially ended so I don’t have that commitment anymore (yay!) and work is winding down with the holidays approaching. I have the rest of this week and Monday and Tuesday of next week and then it’s winter break. However, they’re still full days so it’s still six hours I’m missing from each day.

Speaking of the holidays, Christmas is right around the corner. I finished all my shopping and wrapping, but there’s still so much to do; clean the house, help with baking, prepare for upcoming Christmas parties, etc.

This past weekend alone I was barely home. I had work Friday morning and then a Christmas party that night. Kris and I went out Saturday morning to Barnes & Noble (so I got a little writing done then) and then we went shopping. Then we had company over the house that night. Sunday we had church in the morning and then went to my uncle’s house to celebrate his birthday. It was a busy weekend that flew by and before I knew it I had to wake up early for work again.

Yesterday I was supposed to have the second draft of Detective Florence typed up and ready to be printed for another hand-edit. I haven’t been writing the ten pages a day like I was supposed to. I have 30 pages left to go.

I plan on finishing it today. However, I won’t be able to start hand-editing the first draft of Detective Florence 2 today. So that will put me a day behind, but I’m hoping I can catch up with that tomorrow after work since I don’t have anything else going on.

In other news, I’ve been continually planning and preparing things for my blog for the new year. I’ve been writing certain posts that will be weekly or monthly. There are a few posts that will be written in advance, but most posts will be written as my day got on and I start rambling to you guys as usual. However, I need the planned posts in order to keep up a good pace with my blog and also because I have no idea what next year is going to bring. Between school, work, babysitting, and everything else under the sun, writing the posts in advance is a good choice at the moment.

So, after work I need to type up those last 30 pages of Detective Florence. Then tomorrow I’ll start on my next deadline. More on that tomorrow as well as an update of the second draft of Detective Florence and how well/not well it’s been going.

Updates

I think it’s about time I’ve gotten myself into a routine, don’t you think? I haven’t been about to blog in a while. I haven’t even had a chance to really write anything in a while. Between school and work, life has been pretty hectic. So here are a few updates about my life. I think if I write them down it’ll help me sort everything out so I can get myself back on track.

Work:
While it’s nice that I’m just a teacher’s aide, it still saps up a lot of time and energy. I only have to be at work when the kids are there (which means I only work from 8 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon). I don’t have to do any prepping outside of work and I’m not obligated to go to any staff meetings (I still go, but it’s nice to have the choice). Once 2:30 hits, I’m done. But… I’m in the second lowest class. My kids are still learning how to talk (yes, they’re three- and four-years-old). It takes up a lot of energy and by the time I get home, I’m exhausted. I don’t want to write, I don’t want to do homework, I just want to watch mindless TV or sleep.

School:
I think I could discuss this forever. I think the topic of my school should be its own blog post, but I’ll spare you the boring details. I’m taking five online classes all of which give me a lot of homework. Well… it’s actually not bad and the assignments are “easy”, but a good amount of the them are very time consuming. I have to sit down and split my assignments into five days so I can finish my homework by Friday (even though they’re all due Sunday) so I can have the weekend to myself and also not feel like the homework is never-ending. My psych class virtually gives me no work, which is kind of nice. My Authors class (Tolkien and Rowling) gives me a ton. Most of it is reading, but if you’ve ever read The Lord of the Rings, you know how heavy that book is. Add Harry Potter and other online reading to that plus written assignments and you’ve got a pretty good idea of all the work I have to do for that class. My Place class is a normal amount of work, but I have no motivation to do it. My Spanish class is a decent amount of work. However it’s an accelerated class. So that ends the beginning of November instead of the middle of December like my other classes. This week is Week Five out of 14 and I was bummed. Then I realized for Spanish, I’m already halfway done because that class is only ten weeks long. So school should calm down in a little bit at least. I got a new professor for my Fiction class because my other professor had surgery. The professor is the guy who I had last semester for my Creative Writing class. He’s great, so I’m happy with the change. My homework level might dwindle down with him being in charge, which is a plus.

Sunday School:
Sunday school started up again with me as the director of the program and also one of the teachers. We’ve had two classes so far and I still need to write my lesson plans. So, that’s how that’s going. I’ve been more focused on my homework, so I haven’t really had time to work on Sunday school, but it’s definitely on my to-do list.

Babysitting:
I’m babysitting twice a week immediately after work. Two hours on Monday and three and a half hours on Thursday. Thursday I’m basically in the car the entire time, so that’s wonderful. I try to bring some homework with me to do while the kids do their own homework, but I don’t really get that much done. Then I go home around dinner time and crash.

Blogging:
I’ve started putting together a schedule for myself to make sure I keep up with this blog. I was doing pretty well until school and work started… I have a few ideas and changes for Spilled Ink, but that won’t be coming until 2015. Until then, here’s to trying to post a few times a week!

Writing:
Remember I had that schedule for myself? It was for editing Detective Florence, the first novel and the second one? Then outline the third one and write that for November’s NaNoWriMo? Well, let’s just say I haven’t gotten very far with that at all due to homework. I tried waking up early to write/edit for an hour each day, but I became too exhausted to keep that up. So I need to figure something else out. I’ve slowly been trying to figure out a schedule for myself, so there will be more on that later. (In other words… stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.)

So there you have it. This has been my life lately and I didn’t even include the fact that my house looks like it exploded because we’re painting four rooms and also the last minute things I have to do for my sister’s wedding, which is about three weeks away. Fun stuff going on over here! So, I’m in the middle of trying to figure out a new routine for myself; especially since October is creeping fast and I need to figure out what I’m doing for NaNoWriMo. This will be interesting.

Why I Do What I Do

Quit

This quote doesn’t exactly pertain to what I’m about to say, but it still makes sense. It’s not the quitting part I want to focus on because I have no intention on quitting what I do. It’s the “think about why you started” part.

There are so many situations that I say to myself, “why did I do this to myself?” or “what possessed me to agree to this?” Lately I’ve been asking myself those type of questions a lot because my life has been so busy. I went from a summer of writing all day, relaxing, and getting things done around the house. Now I blink and it’s time for bed and I can’t remember what happened during the day.

Last week I started back to work and that’s when the ball started rolling. Here’s my schedule:

Monday: Work 8-2:30 ; Babysit 3-5 ; Homework
Tuesday: Work 8-2:30 ; Homework
Wednesday: Work 8-2:30 ; Homework
Thursday: Work 8-2:30 ; Babysit 3-6:30 ; Homework
Friday: Work 8-2:30 ; Homework
Saturday: Homework
Sunday: Church ; Homework

I started back to work full-time because I needed to. I needed to get out of the house (even though I would rather stay home all day) and make a little money. I love the place I work at. The kids are great and the teachers are fantastic. I’m really learning a lot.

I’m going to school to get a good education in doing something I love: teaching and writing. Five classes is a lot, yes, but I’ve done it before. The homework isn’t really a lot, but a few of the assignments are time consuming. Therefore, it’s hard to be motivated to do it. Plus, once you start you can’t stop so I need to make sure I have enough time to complete the task.

I hated Sunday school when I was a kid, but I’ve always wanted to be a Sunday school teacher. Don’t ask me why… I guess it’s just more of the “teaching” aspect. This year I’m not only teaching a class, but I’m the director of the program as well. That’s a step up from what I originally wanted, but I’m proud to do it and excited to give it a shot.

I babysit because I love the kids. I’ve been babysitting for that family for five years now. It’s been amazing watching them grow up and being an “older sister” to them. They look up to me so I want to be the best example I can be.

In addition to school, work, babysitting, and sunday school, I have to think about my sister’s wedding (a month and two days), the upcoming bachelorette party, and just getting other things done in general like… you know, blogging? I haven’t been able to post in a week or two.

It’s tiring, but I enjoy it. I like to keep myself busy. So why am I complaining, “why did I do this to myself?”

I haven’t had the time to write. I did well last week writing for an hour every morning, but then I was too tired after work (and then babysitting) to do any homework. I got really behind on my school work last week and crammed it all in Friday night since that was my first free night all week. I would come home and relax saying, “I got my writing done this morning so I’m all set for today” completely forgetting about homework.

Unfortunately, at this point in my life, homework has to be priority over writing.

So I think I’m going to try to get some homework done in the morning. However, I still haven’t been writing. I think I’m going to have to keep playing around with different routines until I can fit everything into one day.

If I could add more hours to the day, I would. In the meantime, I have to make do with what I have and everything will work out in the end.

I love everything I do even if it’s hard to fit it all in one day. That’s why I started.

Writing Schedule

I am happy to announce that I have finally come up with a plan for myself for my writing! Well… at least until the end of 2014.

For the past couple of days I’ve been trying to figure out Detective Florence. There are a lot of things I need to work on for both the first novel and the second, plus I need to write the third. Of course, I think the third novel is going to end up being the ending of the second novel, but for the sake of being more confused than I all ready am, I’m going to write it as though the story is it’s own novel.

As much as I don’t like editing, I figured I need to spend between now and November to edit. November will be used to write the third novel. In other words, I gave myself a deadline of November first.

I all ready edited Detective Florence during the month of June so I could write the sequel for Camp NaNo in July. With that being said, for the rest of August I’m going to type up the edited first draft of Detective Florence. I’m giving myself a whole month to do this because it’s all ready the ninth and in a week I’m going on vacation for a week (I’ll explain more about that on a later date).

For September, I’m going to edit the first draft of Detective Florence 2. Both school and work will start up again so this will be interesting to see.

In October, I’m going to type up the edited first draft of Detective Florence 2 and outline Detective Florence 3. I’m hoping to have the entire outline done as well as have all the questions answered. I also hope the novel (and the whole trilogy) will make enough sense so editing won’t be that bad.

November, of course will be spent writing Detective Florence 3 for NaNoWriMo. I think it’s funny that it’s been almost a year since I started the series.

I came up with the idea for Detective Florence a long time ago and started writing it in a notebook. All the characters were different except for Detective Florence himself, but he had a completely different personality. I can’t remember when I wrote it because I didn’t date it (I’m kicking myself for that one), but there’s about 31 pages written before I stopped. Maybe someday I’ll post a bit of it on here so we can all get a good laugh.

Of course, I may use that case and characters in another Detective Florence novel. Who knows? I have way too many ideas for these characters all ready.

I finally got it in my head again and I wrote it for November 2013’s NaNoWriMo. I’m pretty sure I hit 50k words on day 17, but I didn’t finish the whole novel until the end of December (or early January). Now a year later I’m going to be writing the third book.

Anyway, for this upcoming December, I’m not sure yet, but I might be editing the first Detective Florence again to give myself a break from writing the third one. Then I’ll either rotate editing through the series or I’ll edit one book at a time. It depends on if the outlines for all three novels makes sense and are in order with each other. So, December is up in the air for now, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

For now, I have plenty to do before November first.