Fear in Writing: What is this "organization" thing?

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Monday, June 21, 2010

What is this "organization" thing?

Many of you work and write on the side...or write and work on the side...So here is my question for you, right at the beginning: how do you do it?

Most of you know I am a freelance news producer.  Freelance has become a more regular 2-3 days a week for the last month and the next one.  Last week I worked 4 days.

Writing?  Non-existent.

When it was just me and the kids (a full-time job, don't get me wrong) I basically knew how my day would go.  Their schedule didn't allow for much "me time," but at least I knew how tight things would be.  If I am to work a professional job on top of taking care of the kids...when will I write?

I once met a doctor who woke at 5 every morning to write before surgery.  Sounds great, right?  (Not to me, actually, but sounds like a plan at least.)  But he didn't have young kids to come home to after work.  Rest was on his own schedule.

When do you who work outside the home find the time to write?  Do you set up a schedule?  Am I going to have to become "organized?"  (I've heard tell of such things...)


  1. I try to be as organized as I can be, but only so much is possible with a full-time job and kids. As a teacher, I was lucky enough to be a little bit more on schedule with my kids, but they all had/have extracurricular things that demand my attention. Wrtiting has always been shoved into whatever nook or cranny could be found.

    Organization helps, but flexibility is key I think. Organization always breaks downs on a pretty regular interval.

  2. I work 12 hours every day (including Saturdays), I cook everyday, go shopping, take care of the 200 square meter house, take care of the pets, do the blogging, Facebooking and MySpacing (plus Tweeting), do all my other jobs (designing, teaching, journalism).... do gym ... and I find the time for all of that .... you just need to organize everything or you just need to have an everlasting energy :)

  3. They say busy people get things done - maybe that's the secret.
    I find I write more when I do schedule time to do so, usually in the evenings.

  4. I'm self employed, so like you, my working hours are all over the map. I write in spurts - ten minutes here, fifteen minutes there - but if I really want to knock out a large section, I have to write it on my to-do list.

  5. hmmm...good question. For some reason in the last year it has become easier for me. My work schedule is up to me as I'm a psychotherapist in private practice. I try and bunch up my appointments or if I can't I take my handy writer's bag and write in between appointments. I always write Tuesday mornings - which has been in place for ten years. I often can write on Monday's too (like today). I find that some things go phoooey, like the toilets and shopping and um...my finances but hey - I feel good. I have two step-kids half the time and I also help out once a week with my grand-kids so...oh and chickens and a dog and a man and a garden. You know what's really suffered lately - my accordion practice. Damn!

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  7. Wow...You all make me look downright lazy! Thank you for all the tips...even a schedule from Corra!


  8. I don't work outside of the home but I still have a problem with organization. I applaud those who can do it.


  9. My life is crazy busy too. I teach - and that tends to absorb 50 or 60 or more hours a week. I'm SOOOOOOO looking forward to summer. Sure I'll have planning, new curriculum, research to do, but it'll be on my schedule. I do have kids too, but they're older so that helps!

  10. I do write early and in snippets during the day...but I'm not working outside the home. You're juggling a lot--best of luck with it!

  11. For me, scheduling writing time has been virtually impossible. My husband works swing shift and so my quiet time is limited. I wish I could be productive while there is a lot of commotion around me but so far, no. Right now I work when I can but would like a consistent schedule. Have you found any consistency?

  12. The majority of my writing takes place between 5-8 in the evening (on workdays) and sometimes will consume an entire weekend. I keep up with my blogs by peeking in at work. Of course things would probably need to change if I ever get put on a deadline! :)