Yesterday afternoon a friend and I were e-mailing back and forth. (I am irrationally proud of the fact that I don't text. E-mail is good enough for me. Why, in my day we had to walk uphill in the snow both ways just to send one e-mail...) He wanted me to know he was cutting back on his professional speaking engagements and devoting more time to writing. He mentioned he'd written the equivalent of three articles over the last 5 days.
This left me in the odd position of wanting to hit my dear friend across the face with a rotting grouper. It's not that I'm not happy for him. It's just that I've been struggling with my writing lately. [Struggling = replacing query letters with push ups and rearranging the books on my shelves in lieu of fiction writing.]
So I asked him what his day looked like and he was kind enough to send me the form he created for managing his time. I won't post it here in case he plans to get a patent on it but suffice it to say it's a rather simple daily calendar divided into three parts - creative writing, clients & marketing, and administrative tasks.
Creative writing includes blogging, articles and book writing. Clients & marketing includes volunteer work. This is a huge help for me as I put in a good number of volunteer hours each week and struggle how not to shortchange either my creative writing time or the groups I'm working for. Thirty minutes is alloted at the start of each day to outline the days tasks which roughly works out for me to 3 hours creative writing, 2.5 hours client/marketing, and 1.5 hours admin per day.
I started the system this morning and am quite pleased. I closed down my e-mail (I'm told the withdrawal pangs lessen with time but never completely go away) and spent this morning outlining an article and writing a query letter. I'm in the last 10 minutes of my 3 hours of creative writing time, just enough time to pop out this blog post. Then it's 30 minutes of checking e-mail, lunch, and on to marketing tasks.
You know I love a good list. I'm optimistic this daily calendar is what I need right now to set me back on track.
I'll let you know how it goes - but only during my allotted online hours, of course.