So today I thought I would share with you all how I manage my time as a writer, and also a little insight into my personal life.
I’m sure that some of the Authors reading my blog will know what I mean when I say being an Author and a parent and a worker, and a partner, is hard work! You have to dedicate so much time to being each of these and then some, so that they are all getting equal attention. After all, the work isn’t going to do itself, the kids aren’t going to feed themselves, (that goes for the ‘big kid’ as well) and the book Being a mother, a partner, an Author and an Editor takes it’s toll on a person, naturally. But being a mother of an autistic child makes just that small bit harder, and yet at the same time also a little easier.
My daughter was diagnosed with autism a couple of years ago, I had known from birth that there was just something different about miss 8. She was always agitated and just naturally unsettled. As she got older, the problems only got worse, with each meltdown becoming bigger and badder.
It was when she was diagnosed with Autism that I found out that Autistic children needed routine in their lives. They liked having things done at the same time and in the same way every day. And while that may be boring for us, it is like bliss to her.
Anyway, before the autism diagnosis life was hectic to say the least. We didn’t have a routine, things were done when they were done – if they ever actually got done – and that was that. I was tired ALL the time, I was stressed, my health was failing and I wasn’t writing anywhere near as much as I knew I could have been. So since then, we have adopted a routine in our house that seems to fit in with everyone’s needs exceptionally well.
When it comes to our family routine, it is extremely strict. We get up every morning at 7am, we eat, we wash, we dress (right down to shoes) we make lunches together, prepare school bags, and we are out the door for the walk to school.
Once home from dropping the kids off, I can relax a little, though not to a huge extent, I still have a certain amount of work that I need to get done in a day. Usually, I start with my social media time (me time) though that also kind of extends during the day while I am working as well, (facebook is evil for authors, I’m telling you haha) I organise what I have to do for the day in the way of editing, and also how many words I want to have written in that day (or sometimes just which scenes I want to have done) Once I’ve completed those smaller tasks, my mummy duties are once again happening, with clothes washing, dishes, and general house cleaning. I find it hard to relax amongst mess, so having this done as early as possible is a must for me.
After the housework is done, I can finally get down to business and as always work comes before pleasure, so if I have any editing to do I get that out of the way first. Usually spending 1-2 hours on it before finishing for the day and moving onto my time for writing. This doesn’t always go as planned, occasionally, like the last few days, I just don’t seem to be able to get the words out. So I find something else to do with my time.
Now I would take early mornings over our afternoons any day! Afternoons are the bane of my existence. They are hectic after picking the kids up. We have afternoon snacks to eat, homework to do, school reading to finish, spelling to practice and then some play time with the kids before dinner, baths and bed. It’s usually around 7:30pm before I even get to attempt to do anything else. Weekends are a little easier, as the kids seem to be content to play without so much routine, but afternoons are still fairly hectic. Usually around 8pm is when I get to wind down for the day with a cup of coffee, and my laptop in hand. This is when the majority of my writing gets done, though some nights (like tonight) I’m just not in the mood so I go for something a bit more on the arty side of things. Generally it is drawing.
It’s usually around 11pm when I mosey on to bed and pick up a book that I have been reading before drifting off and getting my body ready for the next day.
I think I have waffled on for long enough now to put half my readers to sleep, so I will leave you tonight with a sketch that I drew a little while ago, and leave praise to all those parents/partners/workers and Authors out there who can achieve what I do without routine. I really do envy you 😉 For now, have a good night. I’ll be back tomorrow.