Sunday, October 19, 2014

Time Management

So here's the thing: I should be able to tell you a lot about how to manage your time, but I'm pretty sure I'm not really an expert.

I'd like to claim that I am, but the truth of the matter is, I work 30 to 40 hours a week on my day job, I work 30 to 55 hours a week on my writing career, depending on the week. Some of that is networking, doing the online presence thing and working on series proposals, but most of it is writing.

Next month is NaNoWriMo. On the incredibly slim chance you don't know what that means, it's National Novel Writing Month (or some close approximation thereof). It's a neat challenge. A great concept and one I endorse wholeheartedly. Why? Because you're supposed to write 50,000 words in a month. That's a hefty goal. A respectable sum of words.

I've already stated that my goal for November is 95,000 words on the next novel project. That doesn't include articles for Word-Whores, reviews, the occasional rant on genrefied  or anything I might get written for my website. Those others are extras.

I don't set that sort of goal because I want to, per se, but because it is a necessary evil. I have a lot of projects that I'm spinning and I want to sell them. I also have another novel due at the end of the year and I have only barely broken 15,000 words on it. My plan is to make this a big beast, probably close top 150,000 words, because that's what the publisher wants. I have three different proposals out there that will, hopefully, bear fruit. They didn't write themselves. I still have at least one more short story (10,000 words) that I'd like to finish before the end of the year, and I have the weekly essays here, and I have several projects that I'm still toying with.

Listen, the largest novel I've ever done was 340,000 words. I wrote that in a year, between other paying writing gigs and the day job. Since I started writing I've and a day job. I like having a stead income and I love having benefits. Maybe someday I'll get that deal that allows me to break orbit and head into the heavens but for now I'm still working on staying in the air. My fastest novel as I am fairly certain I have pointed out here before, was around 128,000 words and written in a three week span of time. That included three edits (with assistance on the editing part)

How do I do it?

I write. Every day. At least a few hours. The ONLY exception is when I'm at a convention and even then I have been known to get a little work done. It's a necessary evil.

Today I worked an eight hour shift. I opened the coffee shop I work in. Last knight I closed it. Somewhere between the two I got a good, solid four hours of sleep. When I'm done with this article it's crash and burn time and I'll have cleared just at 3,500 words for the day. Not a great day, not a lousy one. But it'll do.

How do I manage my time? I sit the hell down and I write. I'm a widower. I have spare time. Before, when I was married, I managed it anyway. I still got in around the same word count per day (between 2,500 and 4,000 per day) and I still managed to spend some time with my wife, and I did the day job. I might have gone on three hours of sleep a few times (okay, more than a few) but I managed it.

I could have survived writing less, but I wouldn't have been pleased about it.

My goal for November is 95,000 words. I also have World Fantasy to attend in the first week of November. Like I said, not likely to get much writing done on that trip. One way or another, I intend to achieve my goal. If I have to sacrifice a little sleep or give up a little of my social time to make it happen I will.

It's what I do.

James A. Moore


  1. Ahhahahaha! If a picture is worth a thousand words, you are already on a good start to your 95,000!

  2. Courtesy of Charles R. Rutledge, who knows me too well. :)

  3. Ha! I do believe I agree with that after following the two of you on FB for some time.