Writing has actually become harder to pencil into my schedule since I got back home. I expected that it was going to be difficult. I knew that I was going to wind up spending a lot of time on other things, but I guess I didn’t realize just how much time I was going to be spending on everything else. I’m not insanely busy. I don’t have so much work that I don’t have time to work, but I have so much other stuff.
Before I left for California, I had intended to try to unpack all of my college boxes. I fell sick for nearly two straight weeks and could have had to put off my trip for a week. I didn’t have the energy to unpack. So now I’m back home and all that work needs to be done is finally staring me in the face. Besides unpacking, I’m streamlining my space and cleaning it to make sure that I have a good space to work. So with all the cleaning, unpacking, laundry, and other chores that I have to do around the house, I’m finding that I don’t have the time that I want to work.
It’s been especially stressful since when I have time to sit down and write, my partner wants to Skype me since they will be leaving to go out on a cruise for school in a week or two. Finding that balance between work, relationships, and writing has always been hard. When I was younger, I was under the impression that my parents didn’t like it when my writing got in the way of my homework. I remember a few comments about the fact that I shouldn’t spend a lot of time writing. My parents are supportive now (and they were then as well), but it left me with the impression that my writing should fall behind everything else that I had going on.
I’m sure that there are other people out there that understand what I’m saying. When you’re a student, your school work comes first. My parents even didn’t want me to have a real job while I was in school. I didn’t have the time to balance all of it really. So what do you do when you’re not a student and you run your own work schedule?
In my case, just panic and wonder if you’re actually getting this right. I’ve been working on it though to make sure that my day is at least a little bit structured. I can’t use a class schedule and force myself to think by the hour, though. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense with the fact that I should be working during most of the day.
I’ve been using the last week to develop a schedule. I started with the time that I wanted to get up and then the time I wanted to go to bed. After deciding on those times, then I could fill in the gaps. Of course, I’m still flexible since I’m living at home and my parents don’t really have a real concept of ‘daughter’s work time’ yet. I might put a sign up on my door that indicates whether I’m actively working or not. But even with those weird moments, I have a rough schedule that blocks out times during the day that I am working on stuff. I also write out the tasks I want to do in the order that I want to do them on my schedule.
But the biggest problem that I’m having with finding time is that I don’t often think of writing as work. I’ve had several conversations with my wonderful partner about this. It makes sense that as someone that wants to make writing their career, that I take some time to practice writing and work on projects actively. But can I consider that work in the same way that I think about the jobs that I do that actually pay me money? That answer changes from day to day.
At the very least, I try to give myself a couple hours between when I stop really working and going to bed to make sure that there’s some time for a little bit of writing while I’m also trying to wind down from dealing with clients.
It’s the time I have, so it’s the time I give. And that’s the best I can do right now.