Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Time Management

I don't have a partner or children. I'm not constrained by the demands of a full-time job. Then why is it a struggle every day to find time to devote to my writing and illustrating?

I've learned that if I hope to accomplish anything with my career as a children's author, I have to give myself goals, especially daily goals. Yesterdays goals included revising a transition scene for an upcoming picture book and typing a new story so I could share it with my critique group. Such simple sounding projects, but unless I make a conscious effort to address them, they won't get finished. And I need to address them first thing in the day or they won't even get started.

As I've mentioned in other posts, the biggest distraction for me has become the Internet. I find dozens of excuses why I need to check my email, and soon I'm responding to queries about school visits, replying to editors, answering questions from readers of my books, and setting up lunch dates with friends. All of these are important, but they keep me from doing what I want to do most: create books.

Others seem to manage their time better and accomplish more. Or is this an illusion? I don't know. All I know is that time management remains a daily struggle for me.


Library Jewel said...

We should talk about this sometime on a walk...I imagine you to be rather rigid about your writing time. What time of day do you work best? The students and I talked about your watch today when looking at Abraham Lincoln's portrait. His fob goes across his vest.

betsy woods said...

Thank you David. This makes me feel less alone in my own time management. Since the storm, and the many moves Katrina insisted upon, I have struggled with my writing time, and the habits that support it.

David LaRochelle said...

Library Jewel - the few times in my life when I've worn a suit, my fob goes across my vest, too. And the only watch I've ever used since high school has been a pocket watch (I've gone through quite a few).
Even though I am not a morning person, I work best early in the day, after I go swimming at the Y. I used to work late at night (until 2 or 3), but now that I get up early to exercise, my nights are a lot shorter...and I like having an hour or two of free time before I go to bed.

Edie Hemingway said...

I do think it is an illusion that others manage their time better. It appears to be a struggle for everyone, and I'm so impressed that you have been supporting yourself as a writer since the 1980s!

Lauren said...

That darned internet is such a nuisance and at the same time a great asset. Maybe making a sign attached to the top of your computer that says: "Create Books" will keep that internet in line.

Mark said...

David, like others I sympathize and empathize with your time management struggles. I like your idea about getting started first thing in the morning so as not wind up doing "other stuff" all day instead of writing -- it's a strategy I've just started trying myself the last couple weeks. Good luck to us both!

Stephanie said...

Goals are good. Internet is bad. Yup, well said:)