Friday, September 24, 2010

An Abundance of Time--not something I have

You know the old adage, "If you want something done, ask a busy person?"

I must have that plastered on my forehead. As many of you know, I recently got a part time job. It sort of fell into my lap and has possibilities for all sorts of good things, not the least of which is the project that I'm becoming involved in... which is where the time thing comes in.

Next week, I'm going to be pretty MIA from everything: my life, my home, my family, probably my writing... everything. I'll be doing some computer training for this project I'm going to implement at the office. And I'm excited about it. But, trust me, I'll be glad when the training is over. I haven't worked full time since before I had kids, though I did have two part time jobs simultaneously that were over 40 hours per week, but one of them was while the kids were asleep, the other while they were at school. I was always there for them. And, of course, I wasn't published with deadlines and contracts and promo and everything else that entails.

So, managing all of this is going to be quite the juggling act, but it is something I'm looking forward to. However, please don't ask me to do anything else, 'cause I think I'm kind of tapped out. Find another busy person.

So, for all of you who work full time and have kids and a writing career, HOW do you do this? All answers greatly appreciated.


  1. Cut out sleep! It's such a waste of time. LOL :) I'm asked this question all the time. How do you work full time, teach online writing classes at night, and keep up with writing deadlines and promotions??? Truly, it's the only way I can manage. :)

    The bad part is that I came home from work on Wednesday, and crashed by 6 PM. I seriously went to sleep! Then woke up at 4 AM. argh. The problem has been that my AC went out and the tile men are still replacing my flooded carpet and tile and on my normal 2 days off--I ddn't have a chance to rest/recuperate...

  2. Not to contradict Terry, but when I was working full time, going to law school five nights a week, and starting out as a single (first time) mom, it became duh-obvious to me that unless you get enough sleep, you're bailing against the tide. I've had to learn the same lesson several times since... And with a few good friends, you can move mountains.

  3. I don't work, other than writing, but there still aren't enough hours in the day. Between the writing and kids activities and housework...I feel like a dog chasing it's tail.

  4. Another point, a very simple word...NO,NO,NO,NO,NO,NO!!!!!! Or Not at this time, ah, Maybe later...I know you can come up with a few 'words' of your own, some may even be
    Also depending on the ages of your children, let them handle what is age appropriate...fixing their own lunches, you check them of course, let them pick out their clothes, with your approval again, the night before. Let them, girls included, take out garbage...every little bit will be a great big help to you. I did this with my son when he was little, now at 21 he can take out the garbage, mop floors and pick up his clothes off the floor. His girl -friend loves me. LOL

  5. Sleep has definitely been sacrificed since I got my editorial notes for Virgin. I've been up until 1 or 2AM every night I've been off from work, and I'm still not done.
    Good luck with the computer training!

  6. I agree with Jessica - there are some things we have to learn to to say 'no' to so we can focus on our priorities.

    Like Grace, I won't sacrifice sleep because getting enough sleep is an important factor in managing my health. If I'm not healthy and rested, I'm no good to anyone - including myself.

  7. Judi, I cannot imagine how those of you with kids and jobs and a writing career do it. I continually shake my head in awe.

  8. I understand the time mangement issue, even though I don't have it.
    Don't hate me, but I write full time and my kid has flown the nest.

    I honestly don't know how working parents do it! Especially when one of them is trying to squeeze in a writing career!

  9. I gave up my social life and all but the bare minimum of housework. Yep.

  10. I get about 6 hours of sleep a night. Kids all have chores, one of which includes cleaning the house. The kid who does this gets paid for it as if I had a housekeeper. I make the week's lunches on Sunday; they're responsible for making their own sandwiches every day. I have a system for laundry that isn't taxing, and kids mow the lawn/do the trash.

    I still have no idea how to balance this, and trust me, I've said No a lot recently. Some people wanted me to sign up to help with the post-prom party. I love this idea, think it's absolutely wonderful, but I just couldn't do it. Two people emailed me that they're excited to see me tomorrow at a library bookfest... um... I didn't sign up to be there. Just had to email the coordinator and express my apologies but tomorrow is NOT happening. It's all worked out, but still, I hate that I let someone down, even though I didn't know.

    I'm not willing to give up Survivor nights, however. We had one last night (yes, I know Survivor is on on Wednesdays, but that's the beauty of DVR) and I'm so glad I went.

    Keep the suggestions coming, folks!

  11. Good question. I write and have a child, but I don't see how I could fit in another job as well (and you know taking care of the house--laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. is a job too!).

  12. Judi,
    I'm asking the question along with you. I've never worked fulltime except taking care of the kids and home and THAT is a FULL time job. So my hat is off to all you wonderful, beautiful ladies who do it. You impress me and inspire me!

  13. I'm with Mary Margret and Amelia - I don't know how you do it! I think we all manage to do what we have to do, but it can take a toll on your health - so take care of yourself!

  14. When I first started writing (of course I wasn't writing fiction to deadline either) I was working full time, teaching seminars, kid, house, dealing with the part time job of taking care of animals and ranch stuff.

    I learned a long time ago(when I was a hotshot counselor and did PR) how to say no. I no longer feel guilty when I say it. My sanity comes first and if I don't say no, my family suffers, as do I.

    Now, I don't work full time, but I do have a blog to promote and to calendar guests--this is a part-time job, let me tell you. Writing, family, ranch and it all takes time and energy. Something has to give, so *NO* works for me.

    Sleep. That only be encroached upon for so long before it starts effecting you adversely. This from someone who found out the hard way, hence the lesson is saying no.

  15. Good luck, Judi. It is indeed a juggling act. One that you get better at as time goes along, until the balls fall on your head and then you have to learn all over again!

    You are awesome, though. You can do it!

  16. Thanks for the vote of confidence, ladies. Esp. since I just got off a conference call and am feeling overwhelmed at what I've taken on.

    But excited, too. let's hope that keeps me going...

  17. Hi Judi! Oh sister - I feel your pain! I've been running around trying to do too much and my body completely crashed on me this week. I actually went to bed after dinner one night and stayed there until morning.

    I wish I had better ideas, but I think sometimes you need to acknowledge you are trying to do too much and let some things go, or forgive yourself when things get away from you. It's going to happen. Pick the things that are really important in the long run (like your kids, your health, and your sanity - maybe not in that order) and do your best. I try to start each day fresh, forget what I screwed up the day before, and keep on trying.

    Ok - I'm back. I was writing this response and then realized I was late to pick up my kids! Now I need to take them to a playdate. Good luck Judi - if you find the magic formula for squeezing more time from the day let me know!

  18. Personally, I gave up cleaning my house. :) That frees up a lot of time if you can tolerate the mess!

    But in truth, I have no idea how any of us get any writing done. I'm just glad we do.

  19. It's funny, but since I started seriously pursuing a writing career, it seems that I never have enough time, cause I'm always thinking "Sheesh, I could be writing right now!" And what's even funnier is that I love it!
    As always, a wonderful post, Judi. Your clear writing voice always shines through.

  20. I know this will sound crazy...but...I have much more energy when I take the time to work out first thing in the morning. It means getting up earlier but it pays off later in the day. Good luck with the new gig!