Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Structuring My Time

I'm going to be spending about 30 hours a week on my regular job. Why 30 hours? Originally I envisioned working around 25, but earlier this fall I learned that I needed to work 30 in order to retain my benefits. So, 30 it is. Since I work from a home office and don't have to factor in commuting time, 30 still leaves me with a good amount of time for writing.

When my boss and I started talking about how to divide up those hours across the work week, I wasn't sure what would be best. Three full days? Five half days? I didn't have any immediate preference. I could see benefits to having two days a week to focus entirely on writing, but being able to write everyday was also attractive. As for the downsides, I worried a little that a whole day devoted to writing seemed like an intimidating expanse of time; on the other hand, I imagined that having only half days to work could be frustrating.

I did know that, if I was going to work half-days, I wanted to have the mornings to write. The organization I work for is fast-paced and it would be hard to stop work abruptly each day after I'd already started. Experience had also taught me that I did my best creative work first thing in the morning.

Ultimately, I left it up to my boss whether she wanted me to be available everyday (but only in the afternoons) or only three days a week (but all day). She decided she'd prefer the former. So I'll be writing from about 7 AM until noon, then starting work.

Now, one year is not a lot of time, so I want to be as productive as possible. To that end, I'm going to try to ensure my daily writing time is structured, by breaking it up into blocks of time for different purposes, without being overly rigid. Here's how I'm imagining the schedule now:

7:00 - 8:00 - Reading (poems/poetics)
8:00 - 8:15 - Breakfast
8:15 - 10:30 - Writing (new poems and/or revisions)
10:30 - 11:30 - Flexible (writing, submissions, letters/articles, blogging, etc.)
11:30 - 12:00 - Lunch
12:00 - 6:00 - Work

Of course, those are just my initial thoughts. I expect that schedule will change as I start doing the actual work, and I intend to be flexible. If I feel like starting a new poem at 7:30, I will (schedule be damned!). It feels a little silly adding breakfast and lunch in there, but hey, those things take up time and they have to happen. Else I get ornery.

1 comment:

Cougar Chronicles said...

This looks very interesting. I too am considering MFA programs, but in Creative Writing. I hope your year of writing is going well. Good Luck.