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?
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!
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!
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?”
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.”