When I was working full-time for Mongoose, scheduling time was comparatively easy. The month went like this:
1) Get assigned new project #1
2) Do a bit of research, outline it, get enthused about it.
3) Get told that new project #1 has actually been changed to new project #2.
4) Curse the gods, curse the editors, realise I’m now technically a week behind, start writing as though my fingertips were tiny, tiny badgers trying to escape across the bridge of letters from the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
5) Finish the book and mail it in. Take a day off, GOTO 1. (Considered harmful.)
My preferred writing time was a morning block from 11ish until 1ish, and then 2ish until 5.30ish, ideally spent in coffee shops aggressively not-playing-world-of-warcraft. Assuming, of course, that I didn’t get interrupted, or procrastinate by texting people until they interrupted me. (How to work from home, lesson 1: alienate your friends to save time.)
Now, things are different. My work day is no longer entirely mine, as I’m sharing the house with a) a deli and b) a puppy. The puppy needs to be fed, watered, walked and restrained on a regular basis, and has developed the habit of leaping onto my keyboard if I don’t throw her ball for her regularly. The deli takes her of her own food and water (as well as my own), but does demand that I give her a modicum of attention and tea. Plus, we’re in training for the marathon, so we’re running for at least an hour every day.
To complicate matters further, I’ve got from working on one or two projects simultaneously to working on:
- The Laundry (which requires an awful lot of research, and is taking up 90% of my time at the moment)
- Milkyfish (just gearing up, but taking up a lot of brainspace)
- Traveller material for two companies (very different adventures for both of them, and while I’ve outlined both sets, I need to start in on them)
- A Pathfinder gig (just a few monsters, but it’s a foot in the door)
- A 4e gig (waiting for them to get back to me with approvals)
- I owe another outline to another company at some point, assuming they’re still interested in the Ahnernabe and the punching thereof.
- [REDACTED DUE TO IRELAND'S BLASPHEMY LAWS]
- Sundry other minor projects (fish for fish, two campaigns, my mother’s deathbed request that I write a novel, of which more anon).
Oh, yeah. And organising a wedding, and trying to stay on top of the disaster area that is an overfull house with a chaotic puppy, and a surprising amount of organising of flights to the far side of the world (not for us – various family members on both sides are jetting around the world). I’ve been trying to schedule myself using remember the milk. (Which I keep thinking of as ‘remember the guilt’.)
Things will calm down. The wedding will happen, the marathon will be run (or kill me; either way, it can be marked off the schedule), the puppy will tire out, and I’ll get into a new rhythm.
Or I will go mad.
* * *
I am aware that I am about six weeks before the rest of the internet on AXE COP, but as I tried to explain, things are rather busy right now.