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Getting time-wise

I was kicking myself yesterday for not making the most of my available time, and for falling back to that age old ‘there aren’t enough hours in the day’ thing. There ARE enough hours, I’m just not making good use of them.

So, it’s time to sit down and do the math again. I’ve got to stop thinking that all my writing needs to be done in the one block because that block (Lauren’s afternoon nap) may not be as long as I might like, or might not happen until much later in the day, or any other number of things. Ten minutes here and there though – that, I can find.

If you need a little help with your finding time in your day, I encourage you to give this a go too.

First, write for ten minutes. As much as you can, don’t stop to edit, don’t stop to stress about the story, let those words flow up and out onto the page. Ideally you’d do this a few times so  you know what you can average in ten minutes of writing. From past experience I know I can write 500 words.

Now that I have that figure, I can calculate how many 10 min writing blocks I need a day to meet my word goal – NaNo is around 1667 – so I need 4 blocks, it gives me a little leeway.

It’s amazing how often you can find 10 minute blocks in the day when you look for them, I mean, in the time it took me to write this blog post, I could have written 500 words on a novel or story… not that this is time wasted, but you get the general idea.

It’s sometimes really hard for me to get my head around the fact that my day is so segmented now. I used to write in longer blocks, then in shorter, then in longer again, so I know I can make this change, it’s just about switching the way I think – and if I don’t get the whole ten, then that’s fine too, it’s way better to have started and got some writing done than to have not bothered starting at all. The beauty of writing every day is that you get so in touch with your story that you don’t need any time at all to get your head in the right place, you can just sit down and begin to write.

I can do NaNo, I can make 50,000 words in a month, it’s just a matter of being smart with my time. Finding an hour to write can be a mission, finding ten minutes here and there? Well, that sounds much more achievable!

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15 thoughts on “Getting time-wise”

  1. Save for those with heavy college paperwork, jobs that require intensive hours, and new parents, anyone can find the time to do NaNo. If there are obstacles that can be removed (and there are always things a person can cut back on) then there is time to do NaNo. I’ve seen time charts for sale in several stationary shops, and I’m even considering buying one to help cut my day into little slices to make myself more productive.

    This all assumes that I can actually come up with something worth writing…

    1. yeah, the new parent thing was why I didn’t nano last year 😉 it took me awhile to get back on track thats for sure!

      Am sure you can come up with something worth writing, and worth reading, just stick with it 🙂

      I think everyone needs downtime, so you should never cut all the dead time out of your day – whether its watching TV/movies/playing a game/reading a book, we need to have a way to recharge. That said, most people spend a lot more time on that than they actually need to, we are the only ones who can monitor how we’re doing with that!

  2. I feel so spoilt reading this post! These days, I’ve got masses of time, and waste it massively. But I’ve been where you are and I know how precious ten minutes can be! I hope a lot of people are inspired by this post.

  3. Interesting idea. I wonder if I can write as much as 500 words in ten minutes. I tend to not pay much attention to what time it is when I start writing so I don’t have much of a clue about how long I take to write but I suspect I’m not as fast as that.

    I like the idea of grabbing small chunks of time to sneak in bits of writing for NaNo. I don’t think I can depend on my young son to reliably have lengthy naps that would allow me to get my daily quota met all at once.

    1. I think particularly when you’re a parent of young children grabbing small chunks of time is really helpful! I think we’d all love to have an hour or so to sit down and just write, but that’s not our reality so we have to find ways around it.
      Worth giving it a go anyways, and you never know how many words you might get out in ten minutes when you’re focused!

  4. When my daughter was a baby, I almost never put her down. I used to carry her about with me in a baby sling across my front. It was great and she loved it too. I wrote two (published) books and dozens of magazine articles ‘wearing’ my baby. I’d recommend it to any mum or dad with a pre-toddling bubba. The only thing to be careful about is the sling. Many ‘front loaders’ sag when you sit down and lean towards the keyboard, setting baby free, so you have to try before you buy.

    1. I have a wrap which is fantastic, though she wants to be out and about most of the time these days, crawling, cruising, climbing… Still, it’s good for those times when she won’t sleep in bed, or when I just desperately need to get stuff done! I’m a big fan of baby wearing, even now she is in arms for a big portion of the day and I love the closeness of it – it’s wonderful to hear of a Dad who carried his baby!

      1. That’s wonderful. Babies just don’t get carried enough these days. I feel so sorry for them! Every dad should do it. I’m so glad I did.

        When my partner was pregnant, we read a book called the Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff which was a major influence on both of us. (I once wrote a review of it if you’re interested. I’d give you the URL but Blogger is feeling poorly today.

  5. I’d definitely like the link to that review when Blogger isn’t having a tanty 🙂 Totally agree with you that it’s something Dad’s should take part in too – I have yet to convince hubby to, he thinks the wrap is far too awkward to put on… ah well! It’s no wonder she’s a mummy’s girl really!
    Am checking out some other reviews of that book in the meantime, thanks for the title 🙂

  6. That is an amazing idea! I really need to try that, because I’m presently baffled at where I will get the time in my oh so very busy days between work, school, a 2 year old & a boyfriend to NaNo!

    This may be my special project for this afternoon!

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