I Prefer to Call it Routine #MFRWauthor



Hello, and welcome back for Week 36 of the MFRW 52-Week Blog Challenge.

This week's challenge topic is Managing My Writing Time

And, I have no idea how to respond.

Other than to say I really, truly envy those who are able to manage their lives in a way that is productive!

I also envy those who can start writing first thing in the morning, then have the rest of the day to themselves.

If I could 'manage' to fall into that type of a 'routine', I wouldn't be as apt to feel so guilty about wasting so much of my time doing anything BUT writing!

Anyway...

After thinking about it all week, I've yet to come up with a single thing in my life that is 'managed'.

There is 'routine', and I'm a pretty routine person so I can say I follow a daily routine with rare, if ever any, deviations.

Honesty forces me to admit to being unmanageable.

That has everything to do with my inability to follow or abide by rules, guidelines, and overlords.

Rebellious, yes.

Stupid, sure.

Childish, probably.

Stubborn, oh yeah.

From as far back as middle school, when it was a gym class sport, I had a blast and enjoyed whatever we had to do as a whole class.

When the coaches approached me to suggest I try out for the school teams, I felt honored and said Yes!

Then the first day of 'try-outs' came, and suddenly I wasn't following rules, I wasn't doing what was expected of me, and I had little to no 'team skills' (their words, not mine).

So, before actually getting cut, I just waved bye-bye and skipped my way home feeling like the monkeys and tractor trailers had been lifted off my shoulders.

Which probably makes me sound like a quitter.

Maybe.

I prefer to think of it as not having ever been properly guided, schooled, or taught the right way to deal with pressure.

"Please, I cannot STAND pressure." (see Teddy Pendergrass- Come on Over to My Place)

Pressure auto- sends me into shut-down mode, and until the demanding, overbearing, rule-abiding tyrant leaves me, I become deaf, blind, dumb, and childishly stubborn for the duration.

The word MANAGE has the same effect.

I write because I like to write, I want to write, I need to write, and because I would like to become known for my writing.

It's just that when I don't feel like writing, I don't write, and that is probably why I need to learn how to manage myself.

Oh!

I finally remembered something to be able to properly contribute to this post.

One time, a few years ago, I tried a scientific experiment on myself because I like science experiments and because I have always known how horrible I am as a person when it comes to being manageable.

I tried the Pavlov's Dog thing using a timer.

I set it for 7pm, and the objective was that when the timer dinged, I was supposed to stop whatever it was I was doing and just write.

The first night, I remember sitting in front of the computer after teaching all day, bobbing a knee incessantly while waiting for the timer to ding.

I was a nervous wreck, so I shut the timer off ten minutes early and got about a half-hour's worth of writing done before going back to watching the rest of the Asian Drama I hadn't been able to enjoy because I was so anxious about the timer.

And, I suppose it isn't fair of me to say anything at all about managing ones time because I am my own person, I have no husband, no young children, or even a needy pet to take care of and worry about.

It's just me, and that is a scary thing when it comes to the topic of being managed.

Also, I should mention that while I was a full-time educator living on my own up near the thumb, I did a fairly decent job of 'managing' my writing time by falling into that desired 7-10pm writing time 'routine'.

Which was how I got into the habit of watching a single episode of a Korean drama while eating my dinner.

After doing the dishes and any other housework that needed doing, I'd turn on the music, open Word, and get typing.

For a reason I still can't explain, I've never had much success writing much of anything on the weekends.

And, when you consider the awful fact that my week days are a lot like my weekend's, there isn't much excuse to give.

Recently, I've trained myself to wake up earlier and earlier, knowing the new school year approached and I wouldn't get away with staying up until 3am watching YouTube videos or WRITING.

Thankfully, Pewdiepie is currently addicted to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, which he streams 6 mornings a week, and because he lives in England, that means I have to get up around 8 in order to catch the whole stream.

Good thing!


  • I'm waking up early (great for when I start working again)
  • I get everything done before 2 now instead of 7 or 8p (leaves lots of time to write)
  • I've seen just about everything there is to see on YouTube now (even more time to write)


Seriously, though, the only trouble I have with Managing my Writing Time is me!

Either I don't feel like writing that evening, I'm a bit more interested in doing something else, or I simply can't figure out what I want to do with the scene I'm currently stuck working on.

Now, my ROUTINE while writing includes Classical Music (no lyrics), a glass of red wine or some caffeine-free Diet Coke, and Word.

Oh, yeah.

One more thing that might be a 'managing' thing.

I will open the Word file and keep it minimized so that it stares back at me on the bottom task bar, reminding me that I need to be doing something constructive with my time, like not watching IdubbbzTV's KickStarter Crap reruns for 3 hours.

Maybe that isn't a 'managing' thing, eh?

I think it is.

Managing myself, my childish inclinations, and my will to forge ahead with the latest WIP are things I struggle with daily so need to manage myself in order to get it done.

It is I, not my environment or those around me, who controls (manages) my time, so it is entirely up to me to do the right thing at the right time and with the right attitude.

Otherwise, it's another night wasted eating popcorn and binge-watching MaxMoeFoe open packages of Pokemon cards.

I guess you could say that Freedom from Responsibility, which entails not having to take care of others, is probably detrimental to my being able to 'manage' sticking to a daily 'routine' of writing for at least an hour a day.

I try, folks, I really try.

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Well, thanks for dropping by to read my post!

Please scroll down to the LinkyLink and click on the next in line to find out how others Manage Their Writing Time (because you sure didn't learn anything from me!)





Comments

  1. LOL....I'm also a Pavlov's Dog when it comes to my kitchen timer....I set it for laundry, since my dryer doesn't buzz, and I sometimes use it for writing sprints. But when that thing goes off, Kenzie gets up ala 'zombie' and goes to the kitchen to turn it off and do whatever is to happen next! Do. Not. Get. In. Her. Way.....she is like an ant on a mission.....lol! Don't break her line!!!

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  2. I envy anyone who can get up early. I'll have to try rationing television. Maybe then I'll get to see a whole show instead of just the middle ten minutes. Good post.

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  3. If you're the type who rebels against being managed, I think trying to manage yourself is probably counterproductive. One of the saddest things to me is when a writer who LOVES to write burns out because of all the pressure once they HAVE to write. Do it your way!

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  4. Glad I'm not the only one that sucks at managing my time. I used to be a lot better when I worked a full time job. I had to be so I could manage work, home, kids, husband. I had to keep some sort of routine. I've not worked full time for about 10 years. Over the course of time I've gotten lazier and lazier because the expectations for me are less and less since my kids are older.

    I try to keep some routine because the kids require it, but for things that are solely on me, well it is what it is.

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  5. You're trying and you're writing, so don't put yourself down. As for being a person who hates to be managed, that's probably part and parcel of your creative personality.

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