About Time (and blogging)

I have twenty-six days left in my sprint to reach a 500-day blogging streak, so I started to think about that, and came up with the idea of doing a post with a title that starts with each letter of the alphabet over the next twenty-six days. Some of those will be easy, like A, E, I, O, and U, but other, such as Q, X, and Z, might require a bit more brain power and even some research!
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with time.
I like to write, and that takes time. Blogging takes time. Everything else people do takes time, and somebody once pointed out that there are 168 hours in a week.
Do you struggle with time? I know I do.
How about a little bit of math. It’s okay to use a calculator; this isn’t a test. This is for real.
Sleep: 7*8 = 56 — 112 hours left.
Breakfast: 1*7 = 7 — 105 hours left. Lunch: 1*7 = 7 — 98 hours left. Dinner: 1*7 = 7 — 91 hours left. You might not spend an hour on three meals a day, but that time can also include bathroom breaks, snack breaks, and getting-a-glass-of-water breaks. Some of that time will also be needed for meal prep.
I like to chat with my family and friends, and I’m betting you do, too. Socializing: 2*7 = 14 — 77 hours left.
You could write for eleven hours every day.
You could, but would you?
Should you?
No.
Don’t.
Typing for that long is treacherous. It’s bad for your body. Be good to your hands and don’t make them work that much.
Besides, don’t you like reading? Running? Skate-boarding? Sky-diving?
I thought so.
Fun: 3*7 = 21 — 56 hours left.
A full work week is about forty hours. People these days are forcing themselves to work longer, but forty is respectable. This isn’t about pushing, shoving, or giving yourself shoulder pain. This is about doing something important and something you love — writing fiction.
Since we don’t all do the same jobs, I can’t guess how many hours you might need if you have more work to do besides writing, but I just remembered something else that we all need, and it’s very important.
Laundry: 0.5*7 = 3.5 rounded up to 4 — 52 hours left.
Sure, you can do other things while your clothes are going for a spin or taking a tumble, but you’ll either be distracted because you’re wondering how much longer, or you’ll get so caught up in writing that you’ll forget something’s in the wash and it’ll get so moldy you’ll have to wash it all over again.
So take the time and do your laundry. Well, okay, you could set a timer to remind yourself when it’s time to check on it, but why pass up an opportunity to do something with the kids, chat with your spouse, or call your mother-in-law?
With fifty-two hours remaining, you might be able to pull off two part time jobs, one full time job and one small part time job, or three very small part time jobs.
Writing. Being a plumber. Marketing. Being an accountant. Blogging. Writing. Yes, writing twice. Why? Because you have two projects on the go at one time. At least. Maintaining your website, which includes rounding up all those links you thought you’d organized last month, moving things around so your Readers don’t get bored and decide your site’s no good, and e-mailing tech support because you just can’t figure out how to add all posts on a specific topic to a certain category.
Maintenance: 1*7 = 7 — 45 hours left.
Then there are those hours you spend thinking about writing.
What can that character do next? Should Joe buy the new car or the used one? Should Mary accept the job offer or run screaming? What’s gonna happen after that? Should the ending be happy, sad, or mixed?
There’s also thinking about marketing. Should I charge for this new short story? Should I put all these into the same collection? How many coupons should I create? How should I distribute said coupons?
Thinking about your life. Why did (spouse’s name) do that?! Why did (kid’s name) say that? How come (friend’s name) hasn’t called since Friday? What if I get COVID-19? Will I end up in the hospital?
Thinking: 1*7 = 7 — 38 hours left.
Writing also isn’t all there is to it. You need to revise, and once you’re getting ready to publish your work, you will need time to e-mail or call the rest of the people on the team: the Editor, Designer, Marketing Specialist, Illustrator, co-Author(s), and other publishing professionals.
If you really want to blog, to write, to revise, to publish, to market, to work other job(s), to look after your kids, and to have a social and a personal life, you’ll have to decide how important each of those is, how many hours each one needs, and do some more arithmetic.
I want to keep on blogging, and I want to write many more books and stories, so I’m taking time management very seriously. I want to sleep, and I want to wake up refreshed and ready for the day, not exhausted and dreading the hours ahead. While keeping up the daily blog, I neglected my writing, and some of those stories are yearning to be told.
If I blog once or twice a week, I can make those posts good ones, and I can write the stories my characters need me to tell.
You have your own stories to tell, blog posts to write, books to publish, job(s) to do, people to love, and 168 hours to manage.
When to start: now.

3 Comments

  1. Woop woop. You’re at home stretch for the big 500! And yes, I have a problem with time too, which is why I appreciate the things I make time for. Anyway, go you!

  2. Thank you. It’s nice to hear that people appreciate the time I take to write those essay posts. I plan to keep writing them, and once I’m not blogging every day, I’ll likely have more time to write better ones. What part of writing do you find takes the most time?

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