Taking Time For Yourself.


It’s one of life’s bizarre anomalies.  I stopped writing blog posts, and traffic shot up when I did.  I won’t read the obvious into that.  😊

But it has been an interesting few weeks “off”.  I have been doing a lot of other stuff in the meantime—some seismic scale shifts in direction and focus for my pen names, as it happens.

But I also wanted to have a think about the direction and focus of this blog, too.

After a five day break at Christmas to enjoy my family, I had every intention of coming straight back to work at PIFW.

That didn’t happen because two days before I was due to start working again on my novels and this site, I decided to bring my production schedule for 2020 up to date and “official” (as opposed to being the far-off projections of several months ago).

Something curious happened.

I started off trying to squeeze as many books into my time as I could.  That is what I have always done, and what I prefer to do.  I have too many books still unwritten, that I long to write, but each must take its turn.  Themeaslyy 15 or so I eeck out each year drives me nuts, when I look at the long, long list of books I want to write.

But I found myself pausing over the calender and my spreadsheet and trying something else.

How many books could I write…and still have a life?

What if I <gasp> took weekends off?

What would happen?

So while I was shoving dates around like billiard balls, I tried a new model.  One where I worked my ass off for five days, then clocked off like office workers the world over at 5pm on Friday and didn’t come back to the desk until Monday.

As it turns out, nothing major happens at all.

I don’t write as many books as I wanted to…but I’m never going to write as many books as I want to.  It’s just not possible.  My list of books to write will always stretch far ahead of me.  I’m just going to have to live with that.

I do still manage to get out a respectable number of books, though.  For my romance readers, I’m still putting a book out every 4 weeks.  My SF readers will get a book every 8 weeks.

My Mondays to Fridays are going to be tough weeks.  Ten and 12 hour days, few breaks, nose to the grindstone.  Sometimes, I’ll have to work later than that to get things done.

But I get weekends off, if I stay focused during the week.

I’ve had four weekends off since January 1, and I have to tell you that the break time is heavenly.  I’ve revived all my home renovation plans, my craft plans, and much more.  And I’m hanging out with the family.  In other words…having a life.

Do things go undone?

I’m sure I will find that over the long term, there are some lower priority tasks that slide off the end of the task list.  I will be watching for long term effects very closely.

But for this year, I want to see if deliberately scaling back, and aiming instead for a better balance, instead of constantly aiming for more books.  It hasn’t changed the way I work very much, but it is a switch in mental positioning, instead.

For this site, I’m back to normal, though.  Next week, I’ll start up the worklog reports once more.

What is your focus this year?  Are you aiming to maximize your book count for the year?  Experimenting with productivity methods?  Just want to figure out how to write when you should?  Tell me your productivity goals for this year in comments.

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