What Shall I Write About Today?

Stop by for the musings of your cordial host, Richard Hartzer

     Wow, it’s been a while, since my last blog post, hasn’t it? That was supposed to be a rhetorical question. I don’t need anybody lecturing me on my obvious blog-neglect. It seems like every time I think to myself, “I really should sit down and write something today” I then think, “Oooh look, there’s a rerun of Seinfeld, or The Office, or a movie I’ve seen so many times I can quote it verbatim (“Who’s your worm guy?”).” When life is as crazy busy as mine, it’s much easier to just veg out in front of the TV instead of doing something productive. Don’t get me wrong, vegging out is valuable, but there’s something even more valuable than that. No, not crypto-currency or toilet paper. I’m talking about time.

     The older I get, the more my attention is pulled in a plethora of different directions. Work, church, my daughter’s softball games, my other daughter’s soccer practices and games, my son’s…well, I’m not really sure what he does besides yell at his video games and drum on every surface we have, and all the other activities that crop up on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing all these things (except maybe Andrew’s constant drumming), but it makes it difficult to find time…I mean, make time for my writing. So, I’m going to try to come up with a plan, and I’m going to post it publicly so it will motivate me to stick with it.

     I have come to the realization that I need to be more intentional with my writing. If I’m going to pursue this as something more than just a hobby, I need to find time…I mean, make time to do it more consistently. How do I do that though? I started by making a table of my schedule from last week so I could see where I was going, and when.

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Church
8:15 – 12:00
Gone to Work
7:00 – 4:30
Gone to Work
7:00 – 4:30
Gone to Work
7:00 – 4:30
Gone to Work
7:00 – 4:30
Gone to Work
7:00 – 4:30
Softball Games
10:00 and 12:00
  Softball Game
6:00 – 8:30  
Soccer Practice
6:30 – 7:30
Softball Game
6:00 – 8:30
Church Band Practice
6:30 – 8:00  
Soccer Practice
6:30 – 7:30
Softball Game 6:00Soccer Game 12:30
      Podcast Interviews
4:00 – 7:30
Richard’s Crazy Weekly Schedule

     Doesn’t appear to leave me a lot of extra time, does it? But when I look at it more closely, I do see several windows of opportunity to write for 30 minutes to an hour. I have a lot of time on Sunday afternoons now that football season is over, and I was actually home all evening last Monday, so those were some good writing opportunities. Even when we go places, we are usually back home by 8:30 each evening, so there is also some time before bed each night. From 9:00 until 10:15 or so is usually my Veg-out Time, but if I replace that with Writing Time three nights, I can easily add nearly 5 hours of writing time each week. That may not sound like much, but it’s a definite improvement from my current writing time of zero hours each week. And once I start building some positive momentum, I know I’ll be able to add more time. It’s just really difficult to get the boulder of motivation rolling down the hill of opportunity, but once I get it rolling, it’ll eventually crash through the wall of laziness. I love my metaphors more than a lumberjack loves flannel.

   So that’s it. That’s my plan. I’ll commit to writing for at least 5 hours each week. I’ll shoot for 90 minutes on Sunday afternoons, at least an hour any evening we have nowhere to go, and at least 30 minutes two additional evenings a week. This includes writing a blog post each week, and working on a manuscript. I even made a spreadsheet to record my writing times. And those of you who have my phone number or e-mail address, feel free to check on me every so often to make sure I’m keeping my commitment. Just not during Veg-out Time.

     Now that I have an actual plan, I’m enormously excited about it, and I can’t wait to reopen my manuscript and pick up where I…oh wait, Guardians of the Galaxy is on again. I’ll definitely start writing once that’s over.

3 thoughts on “Managing Our Most Valuable Asset

  1. This was a great post, Richard! I’ve been feeling the exact same way lately. I have been desperately wanting to get back into writing after making zero time for it for a while now, and this makes me feel encouraged that I’m not alone in feeling this way. I just started a project last night, and realized that more than motivation or a great idea, I just needed to be consistent and disciplined to actually write. I can’t wait to see what you do as you get back into the writing grove!

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    1. That’s me too. I think the key is to be intentional about it. I know some people that have a word goal each day, but I’m too busy to write every day right now. Gotta start with achievable goals.

      Like

  2. Definitely AFTER Guardians.

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