Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Schedule

I've been reading a bit lately about Stephen King. Apparently, he and his wife, Tabitha, had an agreement where, in the early days before Carrie sold, he would spend three hours every night at the typewriter. Without fail!

So I've looked at the time available to me and at what I need to get done each week.

I have assignments due each week.
I have critiques due every week/fortnight.
I have reading I want to do.
I have commitments to do for HorrorScope and SA50s+.
I obviously want to write.

Writing also includes, revisions, edits and research. Somewhere in there, I also want to write new stuff. Then there's blogging and website maintenance.

Did I mention I have a full time job, a wife, two kids still at home and a life outside my keyboard.

I have no idea how I can devote three hours a night and not have my wife and family feel neglected. Work I can do standing on my head. Writing I can squeeze into spare moments but it's not how I write best. Assignment work just needs to be done. HorrorScope and SA50s+ is an occasional thing. TPN critiques are slowing down, at least I don't seem as pushed to get three or four done a fortnight now. Reading is always piling up.

If I do assignment work every Sunday, they should be ready to go out by Tuesday morning. On Tuesday night, I should be able to get a couple of crits done for TPN, if necessary. Wednesday night, I'd like to read. Thursday and Friday night would be for writing.

Saturday I'd like to keep free. When I get the chance, and the resources, I'd like to be able to take my wife out on a Saturday night. Maybe catch a flick or have dinner, or both. Until then, maybe we can go for a walk, a drive or just down the shops. Maybe I can sit in the dinning room with her and help with her latest puzzle (she loves jigsaw puzzles).

So if I look to do my writing work between 8:30 and 11:30 weeknights with an extended 6:30 to 11:30 on Sunday's, maybe, just maybe, I can squeeze in everything I want to do without neglecting my family. Obviously before work time I'll need to pull my weight. School nights I'll make lunches before I sit down. Friday, the washing needs to be done. A couple nights a week, the lad needs to attend and be picked up from training. Saturday and Sunday, during the day will be dedicated to watching football (both the lad and my AFL team) and for handy-man stuff. I have a dog mansion to build.

Not sure how all this will work out but we'll see.

I need a time limit on this too. John Saul, Dean Koontz and Stephen King all had time frames in which they thought they should be published by. They discussed this with their wife's. My diploma is for four years, so it will (or should) conclude in 2011. I have long service leave coming in 2010. WorldCon is scheduled for Australia in 2010. At the end of my diploma I am supposed to have a manuscript good enough to be marketed to publishers to be able to pass. Obviously I would rather have more than one at that time but one is the minimum. I've read in many places that 12 months to two years is normal to get a book published and selling. One of the authors I've already mentioned had a five year deal with his wife and made it in three.

With all that taken into account, I would hope to have a manuscript accepted within a twelve month period of having finished my diploma. That makes it 2012.

If I haven't "made it" by December 2012, then I'll stop devoting so much time to this. I may never stop writing, but I'll stop trying to turn my hobby/dreams into my day job.

There it is in writing. Now if I can only get my better half to agree.

So - I've just let my wife read this before publishing it. She has hesitantly agreed to try my new timetable for the next two weeks. Then we'll revisit it and tweak as required.

Wish us luck.


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