Managing work, life & writing

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A little while ago I came across this article on Twitter and saved it, 50+ Things to Write About When You Have Writer's Block. I don't necessarily have writer's block but I do enjoy the list of topics. I decided to share one with you today!

I've been writing for a long time. Mostly because the character's in my head demand a voice on paper, or in my case, on a computer screen (I haven't written scenes on paper since middle school and I cringe at the thought of hand cramps. But I know a few of people who do it successfully). But I never thought I could claim the title of author. Growing up, I read a lot of books, A LOT. In a way, authors were a small set of celebrities that I thought were untouchable. Then came the golden era of social media where these "untouchable" authors could email me back, @reply on Twitter, and add me as a friend on Facebook and Goodreads. These were normal people who were like me and enjoyed reading/writing and something else...some had full-time jobs like me!

Some of them took the leap and write full-time (which is my next goal), but others need that second income to support their families. Many of them have degrees that have nothing to do with writing fiction and discovered that they could be an author after they established a totally unrelated career. These facts blew my mind and fueled my drive to become an author myself.

I work full-time in the medical field and I have since I graduated college. I love my field, but I also love my free time, and I (obviously) love to write. How do I manage to work a full day, take care of my home (and husband, and dog), write, read, and relax? My number one rule is to not do things I don't want to do (or don't have time for). In college, I was the "let's smush as many clubs/activities as I can in 24 hours!!" kind of person. Then I got a "real job" and my little habits of doing as much as I could in a short amount of time got old, real fast. So I made a list (I love lists!) and down-sized my life a bit. And I have kept it that way ever since. So here is a list (did I mention I love lists?!?!) of some of the things that work for me when balancing my life, feel free to comment and add to it! I love reading other people's methods and who knows, I might just adopt yours too!

1. Believe in the power of multitasking: Start the washer/drier before cooking dinner, fold laundry while watching New Girl (or any one of my DVR filling shows), listen to an audiobook while cleaning the house/taking the dog for a walk.

2. Write first thing in the morning. My creativity is at its peak in the morning right when I wake up. And it also helps curb my social media addiction. And if I don't have a lot of time at night, I know I've accomplished something creative.

3. Read/attack social media on lunch breaks and while waiting for pretty much anything. This is why I love my Kindle, smart phone, and iPad. They are compact enough to take with me  and even five minutes can get me pretty far into a book, or update my followers with a quick Tweet/Status Update. Although who's ever waited 5 minutes in a doctor's office? Not me. And there goes the multitasking again...eating lunch and reading/tweeting is one of my favorite parts of the day!

Do any of these work for you? How do you balance your life with work?

On a writing note, I am getting my revisions today!! I can't wait to see what Victoria thinks of the book, and I hope the list of things to fix isn't too long....progress!!!


  1. Hi Katlyn, thanks for sharing your tips! I'm hopeless at managing tasks and I suffer extreme anxiety so everything goes to pieces when a deadline inevitably comes around. I tend to do my reading in bed - a habit I picked up during a long illness - and, like you, I have more energy for "output" of any kind in the morning. I also multi-task and time my breaks around the end of a washing cycle or school pick-up time (I've got 3 children and used to work full-time before it got to be too much). I can relate to your story about it taking a while before you realised writing could be a serious pursuit for us as-yet unrecognised authors, but now that I've also realised that the obstacles that have always impeded me are for the most part self-imposed - ideas about not being good enough, mostly - I've decided to take seriously my true ambitions, i.e. the ones that make me happy; not necessarily those that bring in a steady income. So soon I'll be calling myself a practising visual artist and writer! You mentioned your love of the Kindle, smartphone and ipad. I don't own any of these so I was wondering, if you had to choose just one, which would it be?

  2. Hi, I love that you're sharing your journey with us all while still finding the time for husband, dog, reading and your DVR. Talk about multi-tasking. You go girl! I'm enjoying your journey.

    Your pal,

  3. Hi Angela, I'm so happy you enjoyed the post. If I had to choose one of them I would choose my phone, because I can call, read, and surf the internet (and play one of my addicting games!). The Kindle is fabulous for the beach and I prefer to edit on my iPad, but I couldn't live without my phone.