Weekend Coffee Share – Timetable Edition

If we were having coffee, I’d be tempted to cancel on you. Nothing personal, I’m just feeling like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish what I’ve set out to do and I want to be working on the novel more.

"Get back here, Time!"
“Get back here, Time!”

Remember back in January when I set deadlines and downloaded an internet blocker to be more productive? I’m doing all that and it’s been helpful, but I still don’t have enough time. I’m missing most of my personal deadlines, not because I’m procrastinating but because writing is taking longer than I ever anticipated. It feels like time is running away from me and I can’t catch it.

Since I didn’t cancel on you (because I already did that last weekend – sorry!), you listen to me gripe as you savour your coffee. You agree that I’m probably trying to do too much, even though I feel like a lazy ass because I only work part-time and some writers work full-time and still manage to churn out three books a year. Because you’re a good friend, you throw my own advice back in my face – don’t compare yourself to others. You’re not like them. You have your own method. And then you get down to business and ask to see my schedule.

I pull up iCal on my phone and we study the colour-coded blocks on the timetable. Such a great visual to easily see what percentage of one’s day is spent doing what. You notice the same thing I do – there’s an almost equal amount of orange blocks and red blocks per week. Orange is novel writing. Red is blog stuff – writing posts, tweeting, and website maintenance. Now all that work on the blog has paid off because our monthly visitor numbers have doubled compared to last year. And that’s awesome! Thanks for reading, everyone! But I do feel I should spend more time on the novel than the blog. Instead of 50/50, perhaps 70/30.

Robin and I talked about this. We were each trying to post two or three times a week and were both overwhelmed, so we’ve recently cut back to once or twice. We agree it’s best to have quality over quantity. We’ve also brainstormed ways to come up with shorter posts or a series of posts to cut down on the time it takes to create each. However, we have to get through the April A to Z Blogging Challenge first! Luckily we have a plan, and short but useful posts in the works. 

So yeah, a little less time spent blogging means more time spent novel writing. You declare it sounds like I’ve figured out how to catch up to time. I relax a bit. Maybe you’re right. And you also assure me that if I’m on a writing roll, you won’t be offended if I choose to spend more time with my novel instead of having coffee with you. There will be a hot mug waiting for me when I finally finish the book, no matter how long it takes.


If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are having coffee by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare.

Author: Heather Jackson

Heather is a freelance screenwriter, game writer, and novelist based in Toronto. For more, visit her website at heatherjacksonwrites.com or follow her on Twitter @HeatherJacksonW

14 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – Timetable Edition”

  1. I’ve been feeling ridiculously unproductive, too, as the blog is needing more of my time and attention, and so is the photography business, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

    I’ve been figuring out how to streamline some things I do and how to just let some of it go—am still figuring that out! lol

  2. I feel your pain. That’s one reason why I don’t try and stick to any kind of schedule on my own blog. I’ve been overwhelmed before and its not pretty! 🙂

  3. I would commiserate with you 100% on the blog/novel balance. I’m in a similar boat, only the blogging stuff takes WAY more than 50% of the writing time (in part because I decided to have a story-blog as well as my regular blog). Which means the poor novel isn’t getting the attention it needs and deserves.
    But that will all change soon — one way or another I’m going to figure out how to make it work…
    Hope you have good luck shifting focus!

  4. I think we all understand trying to accomplish too much at once. It is those that try who eventually succeed.
    Just don’t push too hard, and anytime you feel ready for a hot cup of coffee and a dash of down time, stop on by, my coffee pot is always on (and I have cake!)
    See you next week!

    1. Thanks, CJ! I always appreciate a sweet cake + coffee break. Glad to hear Old Man Winter is loosening his grip on your part of the world. Mine too. It’s just a touch above zero degrees Celsius here and actually raining for the first time in 2015. Though I agree the snow is pretty, I don’t miss bundling up in the snow suit just to step outside. 🙂

  5. Marketing Versus Writing. What an awful dilemma. I haven’t solved it yet and it’s making me crazy. I neglect the social media for a while and then I neglect the writing for a while. then I read blog by a writer I really respect. Never let anyone tempt you to write a blog post more than once a week, she said. Wow!! I thought. Once a week, I thought. So I’m trying it. That doesn’t solve the other social media, but I think I’m starting to get that under control. I hope.

    1. There is a lot of pressure on writers to build that author platform, but I think that other writer gave sound advice – any more than once a week and blogging quite literally becomes a part-time job! Not that I would mind that if it was a paid gig. Of course, it is all supposed to pay off in the end, you know, when the book is finished. 😉 Good luck finding the balance!

  6. I feel very wise pointing out those things! And I’m sure I also agreed to send ‘time’ a gift – weighted boots should do it! I hope you get in lots of writing and your blocks shine with fiery orange 🙂 Happy writing, Heather. I’m looking forward to your A to Z posts – not long now before the madness begins! Have a lovely weekend.

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