Fear in Writing: Chewing what you bite

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, November 8, 2010

Chewing what you bite

So you fill your schedule.  You have multiple kids.  You have a mortgage.  You have responsibilities.  You have desires and dreams.  And you have something in every category that has to be done this week.

Now, many who know me might say I am the last person from whom you should take time management advice.  I am often frazzled leaving the house, at least five minutes late for appointments (usually the fun ones, like coffee with friends), and even let the stress affect other parts of my life.

But, like right now, I can't go back on the promises I've made or the events I have planned.  It's a busy time of year for anyone, and for us it is exacerbated by the kids and their parties and needs.  (Don't worry, I'm not one of those moms who has my kids in a million activities.  They are just 2 and 5, and only one of them does Fall and Spring soccer--nothing else yet!)

So, if you can't cut back on the things you have to accomplish, and you can't change the time in which you have to do them, what do you do?  Do you take your kids to school late?  Do you push your editor for a later date to turn in your MS? 


You find a way.

You (oh, yeah, I'm gonna use the big word) organize.  There's really no other way to do it.  We live nearly 30 minutes from my children's school, so I have to take certain precautions to not have crazy mornings.  Precautions such as making lunches the night before, prepping the coffee to automatically brew in the AM--those things make it possible to do everything (having a great husband helps.)

For writing, we prep our supplies so they're ready when we have a moment to scribble--notebook and/or recorder in purse, computer plugged in near the biggest kid distraction--the TV, outline stored on the desktop for easy clicking, editor's and publisher's numbers on speed dial.  Whatever your plan, just having one gives you an edge. 

What is your plan?  Do you have time to chew what you bite?  Or are you overextended?  If so, what can you cut?  What suffers?


  1. Michele - Thanks for sharing your ideas for time management. Great ideas for people with lots of obligations, and I have no idea how you manage it all.

    As for me, I am frequently overextended but, like you, I don't go back on my word if it's at all avoidable. So I do a lot of time management things, too. For instance, I keep my memory stick handy, so that wherever I find a computer, I can work. I organize my daily errands, work-related things, etc., so as to spend the least amount of time and gasoline on the road. I also get up disturbingly early, so I can work quietly for a bit before the world starts clamouring for me.

    But yes, I am considering cutting some things. I don't want to say more right yet, as everything is in the planning stages. But I think it's important to take care of ourselves; planning helps that.

  2. I walk a fine line constantly between boredom (which leads to depression for me) and exhaustion (which leads to burnout). I haven't really found a balance but I find scheduling does help a lot. I write everything down.


  3. You're looking great in that pic, all of you, and in particular Raleigh's Lady Gaga, with the horns, that's to my taste >;)))

    Cold As Heaven

  4. I'm overextended. :) I basically just try to balance it all so that nothing falls through the cracks. Unfortunately, it's been unusually busy for the last few months--but I'm hoping things will slow down a little bit (or else my family might kill me!)

  5. I consider myself overextended when I'm 100% committed, because I know that there's no way 100% can ever happen and still act like a human being.

    Lately, I've been at 99%. Somethings gotta break soon. :)

  6. I am my own worst enemy so when my schedule is overloaded (since I'm officially retired), it's my own fault. But as you said, when things get crazy, we still find a way. However, I do admit to drinking a lot of Tension Tamer tea.

  7. Tell me about it. Just yesterday, I was thinking about how I seemed to have so much more time last year than I do this year, despite nothing much having changed. Then I got it- last year, I was leaving office on time, so I had an hour before the kids came home, which was a LONG time to do all those things I currently cannot :-(