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?

 

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Six On The Sixth #7: Summer

Six on Sixth Summer

Seeing
She stared towards the shining sun.

Tasting
Sipping on a large iced coffee.

Touching
Heat burning into her tanned skin.

Smelling
Sunscreen scent drifted through the air.

Hearing
She heard splashing in the pool.

Summer
Summer had made its grand arrival.

There’s Always Tomorrow

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Via Pinterest

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!

Summer

Write A Lot

I know everyone is different, but according to my calendar today is the first day of summer! I’m super excited. Although, we didn’t really have much of a spring because winter kept trying to come back. Poor spring.

Anyway, yesterday was my last day of work. I’m going to miss the teachers I worked with and also the kids…although some kids I will not miss. Yet, I’ll see the majority of them in September.

But now I can officially work on my reading and writing goals. I don’t have to spend 4-6 hours a day at work, my mornings are free! The family I babysit for only needs me three days next week and three days the last week of august (when I usually watch them the whole summer) so that frees up some time. I still have my sister’s bridal shower to plan, my cousins to hang out with, and Disney to go to, but D will have way more time to write then I usually do over the summer.

This is great because I always lose the July session of CampNaNoWriMo. I’m usually babysitting every single day, sometimes double in one day. Then I have homework. I still have homework, but the classes aren’t bad and I’ve been able to do my homework pretty quickly and easily.

As long as I stick to my yet-to-be-written outline, write every single day, and give my novel undivided focus and attention, then I should be good to go for the July camp.

I’m almost done with editing Detective Florence. I have about 70 pages left. Then I can start my outline for the sequel. I’m super excited about these novels. I can’t wait to get started on camp this year. It’ll be a good one!

The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel

It’s Gonna Be A Best-Seller…

Starting back in the summer of 2010, I started babysitting two boys. I only watch them during the summer as both of their parents work while the kids are at school, which is nice. They’re one of the few families that actually have the parents home when the kids are home that I know of.

So this is the third summer I’m watching them. The oldest, Jack, is now 13 and the youngest, Sam, is 11. The oldest has ADD while the youngest has ADD and a touch of Autism. They get along really well, but…you know, they’re brothers. Despite their special needs, Jack is actually capable of being home alone for a few hours and watching his little brother. However, he torments poor Sam half of the time. So instead of actually “babysitting” I get paid to “referee.” And it’s funny because last summer was horrible, but Jack has actually matured with age…for a boy. I honestly don’t think I need to be there. But I love hanging out with the two of them, so why not?

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to talk about what Sam wants me to do. We drove my cousin and her friend to their swimming lesson a few weeks ago. The swim lesson was only a half hour long so we stayed there to watch. Sam had his Nintendo DS and his Pokemon to keep himself company. I planned on playing my game, but I found myself caught up in watching the kids swim. But somehow Sam got a hold of my iPod and was looking at my calendar.

“Camp NoNoWr…what?” Sam stammered to read my July entries.

“Camp NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month.” I laughed at his pronunciation and corrected him.

Of course, Sam has no idea what that is. So I explained the whole thing to him simply. Judging by the look on his face, he wasn’t all that impressed.

“Geez, Rachel…I knew you were a geek, but I didn’t think you were that much of a geek.” he scoffed.

Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how offended I got. Of course I was laughing, but I never really thought writing would be categorized as being a geek. That was certainly the first time I heard that, but I just don’t think Sam knew what to think about it.

“Hey, it’s writing. Writing is my career.” I replied and he stared at me funny. “Well…I want it to be my career. I want to be an author someday…sooner rather than later, I mean. NaNo is something that helps me get closer to that goal.”

From the look on Sam’s face, I now had his attention. And he seemed to understand, too. Yet, he was still confused because he knew I’m going to school to be a teacher and he knows I’m a teacher at a preschool. I explained I went to school for teaching as a day job just in case selling books doesn’t bring in enough money. But I am going to get my Bachelor’s in English. Being with children and writing are two of my favorite things to do. I can easily do both and if writing becomes more of a priority…well, my books are all picture books, middle grade, or young adult. It’s still kid stuff. He nodded an approval at my plan.

Then the wheels in his head began to squeak. Then they moved slowly and before I knew it, the rust was dusted off and the wheels were turning five miles per second.

“The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel!” he exclaimed. “You should write a book all about you and me and all the fun we have together! I bet you it will be a big hit!”

I found this amusing. Sam texts me throughout the school year every once in a while and when the summer nears and his mom and I start planning a schedule for me to babysit, he’s always calling me on the phone super excited. His mom tells me he constantly talks about me and she’s so happy by how much he loves me. If the child is not happy about the babysitter, then there’s an issue somewhere. But I was excited that Sam took an interest in my writing and he was trying to help me out. Although, at first I thought it was just him being 11, but then I realized he was serious.

“You can talk about me and you and Chance!” he continued on and on. “I guess Jack can be in there…maybe you can put Jackie and Katherine in there, too.” Then he whispers: “You know, just to be nice.”

–Let me stop to explain for a moment: Chance is his dog, Jack is his brother (as previously mentioned), Jackie is my cousin (the one who was swimming), and Kat is my other cousin (Jackie’s little sister). Continuing on…–

Then I asked a question I shouldn’t have (but I still thought he was joking): “How long should this book be?”

“Um…100 pages!”

Uh…what? Wow, he really thought this through in the past five minutes, didn’t he? Then he stuck out his hand and I shook it.

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“So I know you’ll definitely do it.”

Well, crap. Now I’m stuck. I have an 11-year-old wanting me to write 100 pages all about our fun together. How was I going to pull this one off? He had to be kidding, right? He was probably going to forget about this whole thing by tomorrow, anyway…right?

After I finished babysitting that day I thought long and hard about our conversation. I began laughing to myself and thought: challenge accepted.

A few days later (yes, he remembered), he told me that he wants it to be 256 pages now. Random number, right? I don’t get it, either. However, I did say challenge accepted, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to write that much about us. All we really do is go in the pool, play with the dog, and play Pokemon. Seriously. I’ll make the story 100-256 pages. No less than 100, no more than 256. But I doubt I’ll get to 256 pages.

I realized that I am probably going to make Sam’s life when I write this book. Of course I’m not going to write it ready for publication, but it helped spark a middle grade series idea (with the help of Kris when I told her this story) that I think I am going to write. And who knows? Maybe it will be the “next big thing.”

Insert Interesting Title Here

I Have Nothing Witty To Say…

 

I haven’t been doing too well on keeping up with this thing lately, have I? I did a really good job updating practically daily when it was Camp NaNo. I tried to keep that up, but that hasn’t worked. Next month is July and it is Camp NaNo again, so I will most likely get back to updating daily, but then I’ll be going away for a week with no wi-fi. So…there’s that.

June is a busy month within it’s self. I have my aunt’s birthday, my cousin’s birthday, my nanny’s birthday just passed, and Father’s Day on top of that. I was happy that I didn’t have any graduations this year (even though I graduated myself). However, the spots where all the graduation parties would be quickly filled up because my sister is moving out with her boyfriend and my two cousins are moving in with my grandparents. So I have to help them all move from this place to that place and it’s going to be a lot. Not to mention that my house is going to go from seven people to four. Wow.

I have two weeks of work left, which isn’t bad. But I have to find time to prepare for the second session of Camp as well as continue editing my novels. I sent one children’s book to a publisher and I won’t hear back for three months. It’s an exclusive submission, so I can’t do anything with that story for the next three months. I’m in the process of finding more agents and publishers for my other children’s book in hopes to send that one out to multiple places while I wait for the other one.

My sister Lisa, the one who is moving out, she and I are the directors of our Sunday school at church so we need to get planning for next year’s curriculum. Not to mention that we have a dinner going on at my church in the middle of July and we have one to plan for August. It’s a lot of work.

My other sister, Kris, have to start websites for our church to get more people to come in. We’re the only ones who can do it because we’re the only ones who are computer savvy. We also need to start a website for my work. The preschool I work at is connected to my church and the church owns the preschool. Me being a teacher’s assistant at the preschool and the director of the Sunday school, I have many connections. Therefore, people ask me a lot of questions.

Kris and I go to Barnes and Noble once a week to write together. We can’t this week because her day off of work is Saturday and that’s because we need to help Lisa move. Obviously, that’s no issue, but I have no idea when I’m going to get some quality writing time in. This is one reason as to why I can’t wait for work to be done for the summer. I’ll be babysitting a lot, but I’ll still have a lot more free time on my hands than I do now.

Oh, did I mention that I’m trying to get into college for my Bachelor’s next semester? Yeah, I have to do that, too…I applied, at least. I just have to make the trip to my previous college to have them send them my transcripts.

I think my head is going to explode. I’m going to go write now…

Productiveness!

I Am Getting Stuff Done…

I have to say that I am very please with myself. I’m in the middle of writing four novels, but I have not worked on any of them lately. I have been in the mood to edit. So, that’s what I did today. I have four novels to edit, so I might as well get started and allow this summer to be a productive one when it comes to finding publishers and such.

I edited Dairy of a Lover. I know I said that I was on my seventh draft, but I was actually on my fourth. I have no idea why I thought I was on draft number seven, but apparently I wasn’t. Anyway, I finished editing it and now I’m re-typing it. As I re-type it, I’m finding a lot more typos and such that I missed when I edited it on paper yesterday. I’ve been doing good on it, though. I’m on chapter nine, page 36.

In addition to Diary of a Lover, I have three other novels that need editing. My mom is currently editing Take Over for me, once I finish re-typing Dairy of a Lover Kris is going to edit that for me. While she and mom are busy on those novels, I’m going to edit Hunter. Then it’s going to go around in a big cycle. Saving Each Other isn’t going to be edited until I finish the other four parts of the novel.

I’m just taking a break now, but I’m going to try to get some more editing done tonight. I’m going to sit down sometime this week and get my two children’s books together and send them to multiple publishers.

So I have a lot going on right now. Three young adult novels are currently being edited, two children’s books are currently preparing to ship in the mail, and one (plus three) young adult novels are currently being written. I have a lot on my plate right now, but I am so determined to get this all done during the summer. It’ll be a good one. 🙂

2013: 119,319/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

What To Do

I Have Been Getting Absolutely Nothing Done….

Also, this is my last week of classes for school and finals are next week. Granted, I only have one test, but that test is stressing me out big time. On top of that, I’m trying to figure what I’m doing for school next semester since I graduate this month. I got into a school and had a plan, but I have changed my mind. Now I have to start the process all over again. That’s a pain in the butt, too.

At the moment, I am writing four novels at once. All of them go together and three of them are not to be published. Although, who knows? If The Blank Page series kicks off pretty well whenever I get that published, I may publish the characters’ books just as a side series. So I have been working bit by bit on that.

However, I have been in the mood to edit my novels instead of writing new ones. Believe me when I say that this never happens. I hate editing with a burning passion and usually when I finish a novel, I set it aside only to be dug up again in a few years and say, “Hey, I remember this!” And then it gets buried again…

But a couple of months ago…well, I think it was back in March, I decided that I was going to set up a writing schedule for myself. This is how it goes:

January — Write
February — Write
March — Edit
April — Camp NaNo
May — Write
June — Edit
July — Camp NaNo
August — Write
September — Write
October — Edit
November — NaNo
December — Write

All the months before the NaNo months are editing months to make sure that I don’t start something new and “cheat” at NaNo. Also, notice that this is only three months. Again, I hate editing.

I started this back in March, except I wrote instead of edited because my flash drive was broken. I have two novels to edit because I had printed them out before my flash drive broke, but I either didn’t think to edit those two novels or I just ignored the fact that I was able to edit them…who knows? My point is that for 2013 I may switch the months of March and May. I wrote in March so I think I’m going to edit in May. I’m probably going to switch back and forth between editing and writing The Blank Page. Then in June I will try to strictly edit.

The thing is that summer is nearly here and I want it to be a good one. So far, 2013 has been promising. I have been keeping up with my New Year’s Resolutions (which never happens) and I have been doing great on my writing. I want the summer to be just as good since I won’t have school and I won’t have work. I’ll be babysitting a lot, but I kind of need to make some money, right? But it will still give me a lot more time to write instead of writing around school and work. Plus, half of the time I’ll be watching my cousins and they’re older, so it’s not like they don’t know how to entertain themselves and I have to keep an eye on them at all times.

But this summer I really want to finish editing something. I have two children’s picture books that are completed…edited and all. I sent Asking Bobby to a publisher about a month ago. They said if I don’t hear back within 30 days, I should e-mail them…which I still have to do. There’s another publisher that I really like, but they only take exclusive manuscripts. So I’m going to send Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium there and send Asking Bobby to a bunch of other places. If I get all rejections, I’ll swap the two. Make sense?

In the meantime, I’m going to be editing Diary of a Lover. My goal is to have that novel completely edited and ready to be published by the end of the summer. Then during the school year I can send that novel to places, as well. While I wait for those three books to get accepted, I can continue writing other things.

The reason I’m planning on editing Dairy of a Lover before Hunter is because I have edited Diary of a Lover before. I’m in the middle of the seventh draft (believe it or not) whereas I have not even glanced at Hunter since I finished it. I finished it back in 2011, I think. Wow, right?

So that’s that. That’s all of my plans and I pray to God that they follow through…or that I keep up with them.

2013: 119,319/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read