Scheduling Down Time As A Writer

26 Dec

003Well, have you recovered from Christmas?  Put on a few extra pounds, maybe, and now that exercise machine needs to be dragged out of the garage and put to use?  Yep, I’m there with you.

The thing about holidays is that they take me completely out of my routine, and for me, once my writing routine is disrupted you can just kiss it goodbye until the holiday is over. So it is with me.  I did practically no writing at all on Christmas Eve or Christmas, and now I’m having a hard time kicking it back into gear.  My novel has sat idle for five days now…’s time for Bill to get busy.

Still, it was nice to spend quality time with family and friends, something I need to do more of.  I can become so focused on my writing that other things…and people…are excluded, and that is just not a healthy way to live.

So that’s what we’ll talk about today…finding balance in our writing lives.


I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.
Zig Ziglar

I love that quote and it is oh so true.

Listen, I’m big on following a schedule. Writing is, after all, my business, so I treat it like a business and write at specific times each day.  I literally have a schedule set up that tells me at which hour I will do my blog, at which hour I will work on my novel and at which hour I will work for customers.  I follow that schedule religiously because distractions are a writer’s worst enemy regarding productivity….but….

I need to always remember to schedule time for family also, and also time for relaxation or exercise or both.  My mind is more productive when I feel good physically, and my soul needs the warmth that only family and friends can provide.


Childhood memories March 24,2012 011

See what you can do with this one. Find some inspiration.


I’m actually writing this on Christmas and that means an abbreviated post today. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and may we all find the success we seek in 2014.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.” 

23 Responses to “Scheduling Down Time As A Writer”

  1. Janine Huldie December 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    I actually just wrote for my blog this morning (publishing it hopefully tomorrow) and uploaded the pictures from Christmas, but feeling a bit out of it myself and think we just need to give ourselves a bit of time and cut ourselves some slack, because we are always non-stop all year long. So, I for one am taking a bit of down time while the kids are home next week and just trying to not be too hard on myself for this and get back into the groove slowly. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and great day today, too!! 🙂

    • Billybuc December 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

      Good plan, Janine, and I hope you stick with it. 🙂 You deserve to chill out and enjoy those girls for a few days. Thank you my dear and have a great day.

  2. froggy213 December 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    One of the most difficult chores for the writer is scheduling time. Great post Bill. Have a great New Year!

    • Billybuc December 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

      Thanks a lot, Greg, and Happy New Year to you my friend.

  3. Shauna L Bowling December 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Your down time was down time for you, I know (Mr. Workaholic!). I’m taking this holiday time to set up files for next year, create 2014 spreadsheets and toss files from 2009. I will also work on marketing my proofreading services to local college students and begin my copy-editing position with I’m catching up on writers forums and will clear out the ones I no longer wish to receive, in order to lessen the distracting backlog of emails that hit my inbox daily. Time to develop a routine and get the ball rolling for this writer!

    • Billybuc December 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

      Sha, that sounds like a solid plan of attack to me. Good luck with all of that; I have no doubt it will pay dividends in 2014. Love to you!

  4. pictimilitude December 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Well said, Big Bro. You know, I gave myself a break. I decided that when school ended on December 20 and we don’t go back tip Jan 3rd, I decided to really give myself a break. School-school and work-school and writing keep me so busy, it’s like a true vacation spending time here with my family in CO.
    To that end, it’s funny how you get perspective, you know? I really, really miss HubPages. I do not get the same satisfaction from blogging that I did from HubPages. I really would like to do less blogging and more hubbing in the coming year: nothing beats the community and the fun I had there. I tried with blogging, but I am not in love with it. And with so much writing that I do for school, it truly is a release to either work on a novel, journal or hub – those are the only relaxing things for me, I think. I won’t give up blogging completely, but dang…there’s this insane pressure to comment everywhere and…I love interacting, but dang…it wears me out. And, haha, I’m no Janine, but…
    But…man, this teaching thing. I am coming to terms with the fact that life, hands down, keeps pushing me to do it, evermore. I’m at the private school now…but dang it…I’m actually thinking about a PhD because not only am I addicted to learning, but…teaching must be in my blood. I found out from my real (not adoptive) grandmother that she got two master’s degrees and married a college professor – they are both teachers. Go figure, right? I’m thinking it runs in the family. Even though I haven’t done much writing over this break, I can say that I have this need to practice my Spanish and read. So, yeah…here I am still working and relaxing, but just in a different way. Eh…I find that I need to simplify: less blogging, more school-focus, and some hubbing. I’m a dork, but that community allowed me to meet amazing people like you. 🙂
    I hope you’ve had a great holiday! I will definitely be seeing you in the hubosphere if not the blogosphere from time to time. 🙂

    • Billybuc December 26, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      Cyndi, I get it, and I’m with you. Blogging really does nothing to feed my soul. I’m not sure why I continue with it other than to continue to build my platform but honestly, I’m not sure how much more that is necessary. People always tell me to move to Bubblews to make more money but I don’t want to leave HubPages. I love the community there; those are my homies and I would be lost without them. Bubblews is just a place to get a payout and that’s not why I started writing in the first place.

      I am so happy for you and your love of teaching. That’s how I always felt about teaching. I taught in private schools my entire career and I loved every single minute of it.

      You go, girl! Follow your heart and the rest of the nonsense will take care of itself.

      Big bro!

      • pictimilitude December 26, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

        I know, right? Ever since I started my blog – and I do mean the moment I started it – I really felt like I lost my focus. I felt like I was all over the place with it and yes, I’ve made some friends (and lost some…there will always be the jealous types, yes?) but I constantly ask myself why I even have it. I’d rather have a stand-alone website that points to the work I’ve done for HP. I might make one for tutoring and teaching right now while I’m finishing school and seeing if I am, in fact, going to do a PhD. But, you know what I’ve found? Ever since I left public school teaching, I’ve felt out of place and out of focus. That’s not to say I was happy at public school because I wasn’t. After finding this private school, it was like coming home. 🙂 The thing that kills me is that it’s not full time, so I’m making the most of it while I am in school. I won’t be able to be a full-time Spanish teacher there, either, when I finish. But, I really want to teach more. It’s funny how I thought I just wanted to write, do photography, art, etc., but I guess my heart just feels like I want to be out and about making a difference. I’m finding I’m too social to be cooped up at home all the time, haha. That’s why I miss HubPages: you can publish a hub every day or a hub once a year and it doesn’t matter: your stuff is still there, it’s relevant and the community is unparalleled. At one time I freaked out about the copycats, but there came a day where I didn’t care about that. I still actually make some dollars and cents there, even with copyright warnings (meaning, a someone’s copied my own hub) showing up on my stats. It doesn’t matter. Kind of cool, actually.
        To that end, this hiatus from it all has been good in more ways than one: art/writing/photography will always be something fun for me to do – a hobby. Somehow my brain knew what my heart had to find out: my career is teaching. Egads, I’ve been teaching since 2006 and I was burnt out to due to the public school mumbo jumbo, but dang it, I feel so fulfilled now that I’m in a more ideal situation. I love those kids and singing and laughing and dancing and eating tacos. 😉

  5. pictimilitude December 26, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    PS – watch out for a bunch of Spanish hubs. Ready to learn Spanish? HAHAHA.
    BB – you make me smile. I have met some very, very incredible people since I started this writing journey. For that, I am so grateful.

    • Billybuc December 26, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      Lil Sis, I am so happy for you. You have the fire for teaching that I had for so many year, and that fire translates into engaged students who have a reason to enjoy school…and that is an invaluable gift you are giving them every single day. How cool is that?

      The funny thing about HP is that while everyone else’s earning dropped like a weight, mine increased 400%. Go figure! Suddenly I’m popular to the Google gods. LOL I love it.

      Incredible people? Oh my goodness yes. I am surrounded by a writing community that supports, but more important I am surrounded by a community of caring human beings. I receive that gift every single day as well and again, how cool is that?

      Love to you lil’ Sis!

      • pictimilitude December 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

        Yeah, my earnings have shot way up, too. 🙂 It’s inspiring. I’ll have to remember this when they drop like a stone in the summertime. Haha. So good to talk to you. It’s fun visiting family, but I can’t wait to get home and get back to…hubbing. 🙂

      • Billybuc December 26, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

        It’s been fun hanging with you too, Cyndi. I look forward to reading your future hubs. 🙂

  6. Ruby Fuller December 27, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    I love your prompt. I have always been able to see faces in clouds and i see several.

    • Billybuc December 27, 2013 at 2:19 am #

      Ruby, I love that you saw those faces. I did too. 🙂

  7. Michele Jones December 29, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Hi Bill,

    I just wanted you to know I am proud to be following, reading and studying your blog site. I feel like you can’t be great unless you study those who are great! 🙂


    • Billybuc December 29, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

      Such kind words, Michele! Thank you!

  8. ruchira December 30, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    I agree Bill…it has been hard for me to sit and write my thoughts cause with family at home…there is hardly any peace…lol

    Kitchen is my busiest place to be…oh Well! it will be a matter of time.

    • Billybuc December 30, 2013 at 5:29 am #

      That would be very hard, Ruchira. I am lucky to have a studio where I write separate from our house.

  9. Melanie Chisnalle January 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Scheduling… yes, this is definitely something I’m doing differently this year! Last year I was all over the place, not sure in what direction I was going… trying hard to market myself, write blogs, read blogs, market, be on social media all the time… etc, etc, etc. It got TOO much. Like Cyndi, I lost focus and I lost the love for writing for a while. I take my hat off to those who can make a success out of blogging for a living, but I can’t. I’ll write the fun stuff when I have something to say at Scribbles, health/fitness stuff in Good Health and career stuff at Steer Career Success. No schedules for it, just when I have something decent to publish. 🙂 That’s my motto this year – less stress, more simple and to stop wasting time. I feel like the health route is the direction I’m supposed to go in. I LOVE writing about looking after yourself – mentally and physically, so it will be interesting to see what happens this year. It was also strange for me not writing over Christmas break. After a week and a half I couldn’t wait to start writing again. The break was just what I needed. Sounds like you had a good one too. Here’s to a brilliant year ahead my friend. 🙂

    • Billybuc January 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Mel, good morning and thank you! It’s good to see you find clarity and focus. It is so important for writers. I just know that 2014 will be a banner year for us. Best wishes to you my friend.

  10. dee dianna January 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    I am finally getting back into a routine for the year. Balance is what keeps us sane and also able to function in society and at home. Keeping in mind that the home is where you rest and unite with famiy is key, hard to do when you also write within the boundaries. The holidays for me where a bit stressful with all the family health issues, but it was something that helped bring us together as well. That’s what it is about: being able to pull away from your job for awhile to take time for others. Don’t lose focus on what is important. Thanks for the reminder, Bill.

    • Billybuc January 10, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

      True words Dianna and thank you for sharing them. I think I speak for everyone in saying we are glad you are back with your friends. Thank you and blessings always.

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