Making Time

I’m here to share a secret with you all.  Gather near.  Lean in.  Shh.

I have a superpower.

No, I can’t fly, become invisible, or see through walls.  My power is far more useful and pragmatic, and it’s also transferrable; after reading this post, you can assume it for yourself.  Are you ready?  Here it is:

I can make 25 hours out of 24. 

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This photo might not fully illustrate my point, but I saved a little time by not caring.

Think of me as an extremely low-level Time Lord.  If I weren’t one, I’d be in big trouble.  I’m a debut author, which means that I don’t have a steady stream of authorial income; instead, I’m a full-time middle-school teacher with three preps, I have a three-year-old son, I just turned in the revision of my first novel, and in five months I have a second manuscript to deliver. Somewhere in there, there’s also a husband who is fighting the good fight with me. I think I glimpsed him at one point yesterday.

I want these demands to be made upon my time.  These are good things.  But to juggle them requires superhuman effort. So for all you new and aspiring authors out there who are trying to make your writing a priority right alongside your job, your family life, and whatever else is competing for your time and attention, I’m here to help you. Just follow these steps, and you too can squeeze an extra hour out of the clock each day.

10 SERIOUS AND IMPORTANT STEPS THAT WILL TURN YOU INTO A SUPER

WritingOnTheFloor

Why bother with a chair? Save an extra minute by writing on the floor.
(Photo by Kristin Brown)

1. Don’t do your hair. Scrape it into a knot on your head and put a headband on to make it look like you tried. There. That’s nice. Gentlemen, you look especially fetching.

2. Don’t turn your clothes right side out until you put them on.  You are too busy for that.  Hanging and folding your laundry is now officially optional. May I suggest draping everything artistically over your bedroom furniture?  Dumping armloads of fresh, warm laundry into a graceful rocking chair and then throwing a blanket over the heap is another option (you’re welcome).

3. Cereal is a dinner food. Toast is also acceptable. Gluten-free options available at your local location that offers gluten-free options.

4.  Let shaving slide. It’s winter, okay?  Also, maybe your husband owes you for the various beard “styles” (lumberjack, Lincoln, Manson) you have loved without judgment (okay, so calling it a Manson beard is kind of a judgment) over the years.

5. Red lights afford the perfect amount of time in which to file your fingernails.

6. Your car is filthy because you are environmentally conscious.  Not for any other reason.

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Coffee’s nutritional value is tremendous. I know, because this beverage is almost singlehandedly keeping me alive.

7. Coffee is a breakfast food. It also makes a lovely snack.

8. It’s totally okay to go on for five months digging at the same obviously finished lipstick tube with the bottom of a pen in order to apply your makeup. This is normal. Also, nobody can see you.

9. Lunch is optional. Keep a supply of stale Halloween candy in a drawer in your office, and shove it in your mouth between completing tasks. You’ll be fine.

10. This is the only serious one: Make a date with your writing, and keep it.  Even if you can only do this once a week, it will add up big time.  I have a standing date with a highly responsible teaching colleague who never cancels, and we keep each other accountable.  We meet every Sunday night at 5pm at a Starbucks that closes at 8.  It has comfy chairs, and I write for three solid hours.  I am rested from the weekend, I can be focused and productive, and I don’t feel guilty about being away from my son, who is at home having some serious Dad time. Without this standing date, I would not have finished my revision on time.  No way.

That’s it.  POW.  You’ve been granted a superpower (and a glimpse into my grimy, nutritionally challenged private life).

How do you scratch out time for your writing?

HiRes_Morrison_6861_cropMegan Morrison is the author of GROUNDED: A TALE OF RAPUNZEL, due out summer 2015 from Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic. GROUNDED is the first book in the Tyme Series, co-created with Ruth Virkus. You can follow Megan on her blog at makingtyme.blogspot.com or on Twitter at @megtyme. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette.

 

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32 Comments

Filed under Advice - Helpful or Otherwise, Time Management, Writing and Life

32 responses to “Making Time

  1. First of all, I love fairy tale retellings, so I can’t WAIT to read your book!

    Second, I will never let my kids see #2 on this list because that’s their life already. And #9, come to think of it.

    #10 is my life saver too. Friday morning at “Cafe de Paris” downtown with a chai and a friend is often the only three hours I get to write in a busy week. I guard those three hours fiercely.

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    • Maryanne, I hear you. I don’t think my son will ever know what an organized drawer looks like. There is a pajama drawer and things just get chucked into it.

      Guard those three hours with your life!

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  2. Talk about pressure, 25 out of 24! Congratulations, to be published is a very big deal.

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  3. OMG, Megan, you are hilarious! Love this post! LOVE!

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  4. Alexa

    You still have fingernails?! Congrats Megan. Funny post.

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  5. Joshua McCune

    I avoid makeup altogether. Except on Sundays. Gotta look pretty on Sundays.

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  6. Completely entertaining, Megan! Your Starbucks date sounds like a wonderful way to stay accountable!

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  7. Wait. . .I already do 8 out of 10 of these. And you’re telling me that this is superpower/time lord training? Sweet.

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  8. kevanjatt

    Thanks for the laughs and for the justification of things I’ve felt guilty about. I do most of these already. The first 9 are easy. #10 seems to be the difficult one to execute.

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  9. I feel like you’ve been spying on me, Megan. This is so my life! “Environmentally conscious,” eh? Sweet! =D

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  10. I bow to your superpower, Megan. And all that hair scrunching must be why it billowed forth so Rapunzelly in your author photo, as if it were breaking free.

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  11. I’m a lover of retold fairy tales too…looking forward to your debut! I’ll toast you with a spoonful of Cheerios tonight! Cheers!

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  12. Melissa

    I know that photo! And seeing it has made me happy.

    And so has seeing you being all writing advice-ey. 🙂 about time people started to get let in on the secret that they ought to listen to you. As long as I get to steal you still. Xoxox

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  13. Also, never bother cleaning out your car. Anything floating around in there can be considered an important supply for SOME kind of emergency, I’m sure.

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  14. Great post! I just got a new shampoo which makes me look presentable between my not-every-day-showers. Bam! More time to write. I also like to keep my laptop on the move, so I can hide for 15 minutes here and there without being found by the roving munchkins.

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  15. Oh, I love this, Megan. Within your clever and witty words is a heap of inspiration for anyone who things he/she doesn’t have the time. It’s all about priorities.

    Like

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