Monday, May 9, 2011

Time is (Not) On My Side

From 8:00 am until around 10:30 am, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesdays,  you can find me curled up with my laptop somewhere in the house.  I usually start out on the couch while the girls are watching their morning cartoons.  Hubby sleeps till around 10 am since he gets home from work so late the night before.  When the kids have stopped asking for more to eat, or for me to change the channel, or set up ‘Barbie Fashion Design’ on the computer- and are all three completely absorbed in one of the three activities, I sneak off into my daughter’s room and start typing from the bottom bunk bed (as close as I get to a private office around here).

 It’s calm and quiet for awhile.  Until all three children burst in, complaining of boredom. When they start spinning cartwheels and taking out the toys, I then sneak back out into the living room and finish up from the couch.

At 10 am, I make a mad dash to put dishes in the sink, clean the table, pick up any child destruction in the living room, and take a shower.  The last thing I need is my wonderful husband making some wise crack about me doing nothing but sitting on the computer all morning (which is exactly what I’ve been doing).

The afternoon holds more of the same.  I put the girls down for a nap.  Get some blogging out of the way and then return to my wip.  But between the blogging and the kids announcing they have to pee or that they aren’t sleepy, and then the two oldest swearing up and down that if I let them relax in my room with the television on low, they’ll behave- but end up back in the living room fifteen minutes later because “She hit me!”, well, lets just say the afternoon is NOT a very productive time for my wip and I.  I might get a little bit done at night but it depends on the kind of day I’ve had (and how much wine I needed to ‘relax’).

What about you?  When is your most productive ‘writing time’?  Does it just kind of fall in naturally or do you have to actually block off time for it?

36 comments:

salarsenッ said...

Juggling it all does get a bit difficult. I'm very blessed that to still be a stay-at-home-mom, even though my four kids are now all in school. :) Two years ago, our youngest started school and that's when I decided to start writing, again. My most productive time is definitely when they are in school. lol

Laura Pauling said...

It was harder when my kids were at home. Then I wrote for about 30 minutes when I let them watch tv in the morning. And then during naptime. A lot of my writing was at night. Now they are in school so I have a bigger chunk during the school year. Summer I work at night but I'm definitley not as productive.

Jessica Bell said...

Most of the time I have to block off time. But the crap thing about that is that the time always falls when I don't really feel like it!

Vicki Rocho said...

I feel for you! It's amazing you get anything done.

I do my best work during the week after they're in bed or Saturday and Sunday mornings when I've snuck my laptop into the bedroom and can type from bed while they think I'm sleeping.

J. L. Jackson said...

When I have completely no distractions, I get my best writing done. Often, it's outside the home. The library is best.

Sarah said...

My best time is Saturday and Sunday mornings when my husband takes the children to the gym and I am alone in the house. It's hard to find time, and during the week, I rarely try.

mooderino said...

I try to make time in the evenings but it's a struggle sometimes. I thought you were ment to need less sleep as you got older. I seem to get sleepy any time after 9pm. although maybe sleepy isn't the right word. Lazy? Should try mornings, maybe my body would prefer that.
regards,
mood
Chapter One: Hunger Games

Shain Brown said...

As weird as it sounds I can write pretty much whenever I want, but for me there is something to be said about darkness. I love to write really late and really early in the morning.

Maybe it's the writer side or maybe its the love of fear.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Way to go for writing and wrangling kids, too. Go you. =o)

My best time for writing is at night, usually after dinner has settled. By then, my husband and my daughter are both doing their own things and I can just let it flow. But I still have to be strict with myself if I'm going to write, because there's always something on TV to distract me if I'm not. ;o)

Anne Gallagher said...

When Monster Child is in school I have 6 blessed hours. Of course in between writing, I pick up the house, laundry, whatever. When she gets home there's no time. IF on the odd chance she wants to watch a movie in the afternoon, I can blog for a bit, but never write. My concentration can't handle distractions.

Melissa said...

Holy crap! My respect for you has just mounted by incredible degrees? You've written/done so much in the past year and you did it while dealing with those types of distractions! That's incredible.

I fit my writing in whenever I can. I haven't had time for any in a good long while. I'm trying to clear my schedule up some (get rid of obligations) so that I have time to get at least something written before I leave for France in 7 weeks!

Gina said...

I write a lot in my downtime at work. I work for a company with a very seasonal product line, and when it's slow, it's PAINFULLY slow. So since the desk and the computer are already there, I take advantage of it. When I'm home- forget it. My husband is worse than a four year old with the amount of attention he requires! (Which is why the days of his business trips are also prime writing time :)

D. U. Okonkwo said...

This made me smile. My most productive time to write is definitely the morning. It's dead quiet, hardly a noise outside, and I don't have to share laptop time.

Karen Lange said...

My kids are grown now (I was a child bride) so I don't have to work around that anymore. But some days there are still interruptions galore - the phone, someone stops by, or I just plain dance around a project and waste time. I'm working to stay more focused, and ignore my email at least until I have some writing done. :)

M J Francis said...

Unfortunately I have to write in the evening, but I am most productive in the morning or afternoon when I have the chance. Currently writing two novels (one at 30,000 words, which is a literary crossover novel which could probably be targeted at the YA market; and another horror one still in note form), two short horror stories and been piecing together the next On Writing blog entry over the past three days, while trying to keep the main blog active. Well, back to writing now. At least I'm on a week's holiday from the office job :)

Liz Fichera said...

Oh, man. Mothers are saints. Hang in there.

I feel very lazy in comparison after reading your post. I usually write most afternoons into the evenings. For some strange reason, I'm more productive at the end of the day than at the beginning. I credit the chocolate.

Jen Daiker said...

I am most productive from 6-7am when I arrive at work. No one is fully awake yet and no one shows up early (unless they're crazy like me)... the words flow for that entire hour. I'll never get that bliss again in the day. I take it when I can get it ;)

Jennifer said...

Well you are one busy little bee. I usually write after dinner and on the weekends in the afternoon. But it is getting nice out so I may have to switch to weekend evenings. My son is now 9 and wishes to spend as little time with his mother as possible unless its out scheduled reading time. Sad sometimes but other times perfect! is that wrong to say?

Nicole Zoltack said...

Yeah I have to carve out time in the day for writing. I usually either get up early or stay up late (like last night, you do not want to know what time I went to bed last night!!) in order to get any kind of writing work done.

Talli Roland said...

Mornings are definitely a prime time for me. I get 80 percent of my writing done then!

Kelly said...

Luckily I do have a few free afternoons to write with kids in school. But I write a few nights a week and seem to be most productive then!
It's hard to carve real writing time, but you gotta!

Jeanmarie Anaya said...

This post made me laugh because it sounds so much like my own day (or, at least my weekends). I try to bang out blogging in the morning when the little ones are still happy with each other. Then, I ship my older daughter off to school and have my 2-year-old buddy to contend with. She's not down with being left in front of the tv and needs some serious mommy entertainment (sigh) so I usually won't sit down to write/revise until her nap). After that, the late evening is all I have left. (Assuming my husband doesn't need some attention, too, the poor guy.) So God help me if I start blogging-related stuff. I won't even LOOK at my WIP.

NiaRaie said...

I have to find a chunk of time to write because between working and school and "real life", every day is different with different demands. I don't feel most productive at a certain time, either, though I wish I did.

Donna Hosie said...

I'm a morning writer. First thing, before the rest of the house wakes up. I usually edit in the evening.

Caitlin said...

Right now my writing time is definitely scheduled! Sunday, Monday, Wednesday I write when my husband gets home from work. If it strikes me I write at night after my daughter goes to bed. Tuesdays and Thursdays I write at night after my daughter's in bed and the kitchen is cleaned up, and Friday and Saturday just whenever the hell it strikes.

Dorothy Evans said...

I'm fortunate in that my kids are grown so although I work I have time - but I'm ashamed to admit I haven't really taken full advantage up till now - you're an inspiration and I'm off to figure out exactly when will suit me best. Kudos to you x

Old Kitty said...

What a fab household!! No seriously!! It sounds so lively and jolly and just awake with energy!!!!

Yay for you for snatching time here and there for your writing though - wow!! I'm in awe!!!

Take care
x

Raquel Byrnes said...

I homeschool my six kids so we are all in the 'schoolroom' most of the day. Being in front of my computer a lot, I am able to steal time to plot or write during tests, silent reading, and independent work. I get most of my writing done at night after ten or eleven. I'm a night owl so the still and quiet are awesome for writing.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Dianne K. Salerni said...

My most productive time is in the late evening -- coincidentally, after the kids, the hubs, and the dog have all gone to bed. Huh, wonder why that is.

But once I reach that prime time of the day, the race is on: How much writing can I get done before I can't hold my eyes open and I'm typing more incorrect letters than correct ones? It kind of depends on the energy level in the plot of the story at that moment (I can stay up til 3am to write the climax) and whether or not I have a nightcap while I'm writing .. or a refill on that nightcap ...

LTM said...

I'm too distractie for morning writing... I find my time is the WORST time for a mom--early afternoon. Yep, that's me. It's awful... but somehow I get it done. Good stuff~ :o) <3

Colene Murphy said...

Mother-writers are beyond impressive to me. You guys are the champs. I feel ROTTEN when I can't "find time" and then really think about how you guys do it all and why I'm a slacker! Kudos to you. My hat comes off at your amazing ability!

Cynthia Lee said...

I remain amazed that mothers manage to find time to write at all. I don't know how you do it. Many hats off to you.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

See ... I just had to come back here to tell you that NOW I am motivated to write. And on a roll ...

BUT it's 11pm and I really need to go to bed so that I can teach tomorrow.

Time is not on my side either. :(

Matthew MacNish said...

I used to get the most writing done early in the morning, just after arriving at work, but now I've moved to a later shift, so it's usually in the afternoon.

Stephanie said...

Ha! Sounds like my day but I only have one kid in the house! But he eats like three. And interrupts me as much as three children would. No more naps either...been done with that for almost a year. :( I have bursts of productivity while Dora is on or Bubbleguppies...those are his favs, I think. Or while he's eating applesauce and pb&j. I take whatever 20 minute time chunks I can get.:)

Marisa Hopkins said...

Oh sigh, I feel for ya.

My most productive time WAS 10pm - 2am - I'm a night owl. Since my kiddo started school this year, my productive time went away. Now I squeeze writing in here and there, but man I miss those old writing sessions!

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