Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V: Vying for time

I'm not sure how you all do it.

To be a good writer, "they" tell me I'm supposed to be well-read. Especially in my genre. Okay, I can see the logic. Except that reading now takes longer than it used to because I read to look at the language equation, not the overall story. As soon as I realize I just spent 5 pages reading for witty dialogue, voice, and setting, I have to go back and re-read the same section to make sure I'm following the story. Suddenly, reading in my genre takes twice as long but it's for a good cause.

Then there's my crit group. Talk about peer pressure. Every two weeks, I hand off another section of my story to my 3 group members and hope they still give a dang about my plot. I also receive 3 sections to read and continually feel the bar being raised.

My time is divvied up between work, training for my half marathon, tending to household responsibilities (laundry, food shopping, dog walking, etc), my crit group responsibilities, and before I know it, I feel like there's only a tiny sliver of my energy pie left to put towards writing, editing, and reading.

So many worthwhile hobbies pull at my available time and I think, "How do moms do it?" If I had to take care of another human being right now, I'm fairly confident the HM wouldn't happen. And the book would still be sitting in my brain instead of sorting itself out on paper.

In an effort to see my time crunch, I decided to make my own pie chart. Here, you can make your own!

Huh, look at that. Out of the available 168 hrs per week (7x24), approx 26.7% of that time is spent at work. The exact same amount of time is spent doing "other," which is code for screwing around.

Putzing, fiddling, killing time. Surfing the web. Baseball games, blogs, Royal Wedding information (yes, I'm going to get up early to watch this Friday), news, weather, paying bills, Bransform, shopping, you get the idea...

Okay, so clearly, I have time in my week available. I need to redirect my web time and turn it into reading/writing time. And since I'm only human, maybe I can bump up that relaxation time by a few hours since really, reading is synonymous with relaxing in my world.

How does your pie chart look? Do you have a large amount of "other" time?


  1. my pie-chart would be wonky because i spend a fair amount (OK, almost all of it) of my internet time, and a lot of my writing time, while i'm at work. If i couldn't do that, i'd get a lot less writing done

  2. I don't know about you, but I've eliminated television almost entirely from my day. And housecleaning only needs to be done if someone is coming over. And, really, the dog has a yard to run around in. The kid knows how to make Ramen. Clothes can be worn over and over and over and...actually, I better do laundry. :)

  3. Visiting from the challenge. Took a while but your blog came up on my search. Nice work.


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