Saturday, March 12, 2011

Juggling Skills - or Lack Thereof

ACK! My posts are getting sporadic. I'll try to do better in the next few weeks. Thanks for the new follows. It's fun to see the list grow. When I began this blog, the number of people reading sat at BIG FAT ZERO for months. So, a BIG thank you!

So, yeah. Juggling. I can't do it. My husband can juggle 3 items (soft, round items. Not knives or anything) and he tried to teach me. But I drop stuff. And soft, over-ripe oranges go splat.

And then there's LIFE juggling. You know what I'm talking about. Most of my aspiring writer friends are trying to balance writing (and all that social networking that must accompany it) with a career/day job (usually uber-boring, by comparison), kids/dogs (or both), and any number of other things from a sick, live-in parent, a farm, volunteer work and the list could go on and on.

I am struggling with juggling.

I can barely find the time to get my day job work (luckily, I telecommute) and my farm chores done by the end of the day. Add social networking to the mix (Blogging and commenting on blogs I follow, Tweeting, Facebooking) it seems that writing - the one thing to which I would happily dedicate my whole day seems to be taking a back seat.

Here's what I plan on doing next week. Or, perhaps the week after since I have a big work project over the next several days that will probably throw me for a loop.

1) Try to limit the number of blogs I read/comment on.

Blogging is time consuming. But let's face it. There is a wealth of learning and networking to be had by reading and commenting on blogs. Plus, if you want people to read and follow your own blog, you've absolutely got to do this. I've 'met' a tone of great writer folk through blogs. But, My Follow list is steadily growing. I need to skim titles and read only what catches my eye. Or something.

2) Use Tweetdeck or something to schedule Tweets.

I am a novice Tweeter, but I'm trying. I just find Twitter so time-sucking! Anyone got any other tips? Please let me know!

3) Cross post my Facebook and Twitter updates or at least some) to kill two of those birds with one stone.

4) LIMIT my online Twitter and Facebook time (yes, my posts are woefully infrequent, but I still find myself spending a lot of my time there!)

5) Schedule writing time.

Like exercise, writing won't make time for me. I've got to make time for writing. My muse is at its best anywhere from 3 am to 6 am (with 10 cups of coffee of course). That still gives me time to get farm chores done and hike my dogs (see exercise, above) before I need to sit at The Work Desk. Of course, then I'm wiped by 8 pm!

6) Take a day of from writing once a week.

I know, this seems counter productive. But honestly, my WIP or revisions benefit from a day of not actively thinking about it - that's when most of the questions get answered and problems get solved. Tip: Carry a small notebook and pen with you EVERYWHERE. The answer to your plot problem will come at the most inopportune times!

So, what do you all do to juggle everything? Are you like me, dropping oranges or are you an expert, like Bobby May?

Happy Juggling!

And remember....



  1. Juggling writing stuff with life stuff is a challenge for us all. The biggest thing that helped me was to take the pressure off. My life as a writer or my aspirations as an author are not going to tank just because I don't blog all the time or hang out on twitter. That changes I think once you get a book deal, then you do have to focus more energy there, but until then, don't sweat it. I hope you find just the right blend that works for you!

  2. Elle - thanks! This week, I'm focusing on a work project and writing before dawn. Not worrying about FB or Twitter too much!