Thursday, October 7, 2010

How Do You Juggle?

Not the physical kind. I can do that. Not well, but I can keep three tennis balls going for a while.

I mean juggle everything else?

How do you find time to write? Time to blog? Time to actually live?

I knew this month would be difficult between my book release and virtual tour. I knew writing would slack for a while. That's why I signed up for NaNoWriMo.

Some days, it's overwhelming though. I'm starting to wonder if I will survive.

So how do you guys juggle everything? Some of you have hundreds of more followers than I do. Some of you have several books out. Some of you post daily and it's not just filler - you put a lot of work into it!

How on earth do you guys do it?



I thought of Arlee when a post about juggling came on.
I'm no good at juggling with balls and the such, but can just about manage my blogs, how people manage who have more followers than me do amaze me.
Have a good day.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I'll say you can't be everything to everyone and certainly not all the time. With that said, I feel we have to choose what means most to us and do that well otherwise something or someone suffers.

Praying for your juggling to be close to self and without error.


Ted Cross said...

I haven't been juggling. I've let my blog slide recently, and I certainly have let my writing fall way behind. I hope this funk passes soon...

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Excellent question. Wish I knew the answer for you. As for writing, when a book is in editing or coming out that's not the best time to start something else. That book takes primary care just like a baby does. I do NaNo as well, because it helps to make up for lost time of NOT writing. I'm trying it this year, hope I can do it, but I'm not sure it will happen since the book I wrote last November is now in final editing. So I may end up editing instead of writing something brand new.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

great question or thought! i put the day into perspective... early wake up an hour on the blogs, facebook, emails. work, part-time-ish... looking for freelance... full-time is hard to find, if you have a full-time gig hold on tight.
some mornings i don't know why i spend so much time on the internet, my time is much better spent. i had once wrote a book every six months, tragedy struck... now it's almost never i put little in the blogs, i make mostly art... i think it's art.

so blogger for hire! design/retouch/restoration...

sorry i made this about

Candyland said...

I don't! At least not every day. I have to pick and choose what I can accomplish on any given day. Then I feel bad. I can't win.

DEZMOND said...

who says we have time to live? :))

It all depends on what your goal is - just having fun, hanging out, relaxing, or working hard and leaving something behind you. If you know what your goal is it's not difficult choosing the priorities.

And don't worry, I don't think you will be the one who will die from book promotion and writing too much :PPPP

DEZMOND said...

PS, would you like me to borrow you my penguins? TO help you out a bit?

Christine Danek said...

I've set a schedule. I only post three days a week. I comment when I can which has slacked.
I wish I had more writing time. I try to write after the kids go to bed but it's not always the best time for the brain.
It's tough but somehow I try and make it work around the whole life thing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Teresa, just pray I can make it through October!

Ted, hope it does too, buddy.

Karen, that's why I signed up for NaNo, so I'd be forced to write. I just know I won't be able to keep up with my fellow bloggers though and that bugs me. Need more hours in the day.

iZombie, that's okay! And I am grateful for my job.

Candyland, I'm hitting that now.

Dezz, good to know no one has died! And yes, send over the penguins. I'll put their little bird-butts to work.

Gail said...

Just do the best you can with a pure heart and you will not drop one ball!

Mason Canyon said...

I have a hard time just keeping up with a post a day and I have some wonderful authors helping out by doing guest post (including you). I can't image trying to write a book or promote a book too.

Thoughts in Progress

vic caswell said...

give up what you must.
remember to value the higher things on the list.
remember no one can do everything.
and smile!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'd say you're doing a pretty good job with it all, Alex!

I try to do as much in advance as possible. And I get up early.

Sarah Ahiers said...

not to mention having kids and junk. CRAZY!

Allison said...

I can't juggle, or else I don't write. I work and then come home and read and then go to bed. Which is why I, too, signed up for NaNo. But if I have a strict schedule with every hour accounted for, I'm more likely to accomplish things, because then I get to mark them off.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Ah man, I'm jealous. I had no idea you could juggle. Bummer

I'm finding with this NaBloWriMo thing that I really don't want to blog daily. So in the end that will free up some time. I juggle my time in blocks. It's the only way I don't suffer brain suck.

Old Kitty said...

I'm in awe at people able to twitter/facebook/blog/climb mt everest/save whales/build a bridge and still have time to make dinner for 5! And do the ironing. And write volume 12 of their blockbuster series.

I have NO idea how these social whirlwind people do it. I would love to know too!

Good luck with your Nanowrimo!!!

Take care

Jules said...

Wow, will you be doing the tennis ball routine at your book signings? :)

Some of us are unemployed which leaves a lot of filling to do. We have not joined the circus :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

KK Brees said...

For me the answer is "Some days not very well." I can start out with the best intentions but then life happens. I also dread the voice coming from another room in the house "Are you going to sit at that computer all day?" grrrrrr

Colene Murphy said...

Did you totally get chills or a silly grin or something when you wrote "between my book release"? Hope so! Crazy awesome!

My job offers a lot of desk/computer time that I use to write and edit. Only working 3.5 days a week(still full time though.) helps a lot too. Its a huge blessing. It's the only way I could juggle it all, I'm sure.

Hope you don't lose your mind. I know you can do it though!

Martin Kozicki said...

One solution has been to allocate my time effectively. Whatever's in front of me, I focus ONLY on that. If I'm working, I devote my time to that project or client until it's finished (or as finished as it can be). If I'm writing or blogging, then I work until satisfied. If I'm playing with the kids, they have my full attention--no phone or laptop nearby. I hate multitasking.

It's a learned habit, for certain, but I honestly believe it's why I'm able to start my day around 7 am and wrap up by 4:30-ish, despite having a wife, 3 kids, a business to manage, and my writing projects.

Also, leverage the power of preparation. I keep a running To-Do list of everything I want to do for the day, checking them off as I go. If I'm bored during the evening, I might draft a few blog post titles with the idea that I'll flesh them out later, or schedule them to be posted in the future.

Ironically, I'm currently blogging a series on 5 ways to simplify your life while you pursue your dream. Part 2 is coming up later today.

Carolyn V. said...

I actually block time out for the things I really want to do. I spend a couple hours on college homework, writing, getting the laundry done (because that's the hardest thing for me to do). It works, at least it works for me. =)

Aleta said...

I'm not a published author, no writing deadlines, but I do have a 9-5 job and a house to keep up on. Lol. Does that count for juggling?

For me, I set aside a time to do the blog post. If I don't do that, it goes by the wayside until too late in the day. Time management - comes in handy at the office too ;)

Unknown said...

I like being busy, it's when I'm not that I find I don't get anything accomplished but I do try and set timers for the things I do and prioritize.


Charles Gramlich said...

Some days I manage. Many days I don't. Some days I curse. Some days I sigh. Some days I just turn it all off and go to bed.

Copyboy said...

I agree, it's hard to find the time. My writing hour is usually 10ish at night...and maybe lunchtime.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Gail, I like that attitude!

Aspiring, I'm smiling. Okay, the best smile a man can offer anyway.

Mary, fortunately the daily blogging is only for one month.

Jules, do you think it would attract more attention?

KK, I hear that sometimes!

Colene, I'm glad I can blog at work, too.

Martin, I don't multi-task well, although sometimes I do it. I'll check out your series. And just what the heck is bored?

Clarissa, on days I don't plan much, that's usually what I accomplish, too.

Marian Allen said...

What Charles said.

I've signed up for NaNo, too. It's one month when everyone respects my writing time. "Can't do it--I have to do my words." Even non-writers who can't relate to "I'm working on a story" can relate to measurable quantitative goals.

For now, I'm on a new regimen (oh, Dear God, thank you for spellcheck): I get up at 6am and exercise; that's giving me more energy to run and juggle at the same time--family, writing, the Dread Monster Marketing, and more family. heh

Marian Allen

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

I don't sleep.

I'm preparing to take a hiatus just so I can sleep. Seriously. I'm tired.

Tere Kirkland said...

I'm usually sacrificing one thing for another: some days I concentrate on social networking, some days all my energies go into my writing. Which is why we ate pb and j last night at nine pm instead of a real dinner. ;)

Arlee Bird said...

Now you're talking my language! Actually I should set aside some time everyday for some real juggling just to keep in shape and it's good mental and physical exercise.

But as far as the juggling you're talking about, I've taken the first step by cutting back my blogging days. I still need to set up a somewhat more rigid schedule so I can be strict about not lollygagging with non-essential activities during time when I should be productive.

Last year NaNo was a big help for helping me stay on track with things. This year with less blogging I hope to be more productive.

I try to keep a semblance of a schedule so I can get several things done each day and not just get stuck on one project. The change helps keep my focus fresh as well.

You seem to do pretty well with your juggling act.

Tossing It Out

Laura Eno said...

I can't juggle. When I'm writing a book I live, eat and breathe that. I post fridayflash on my blog but not much else and try to keep up on reading/commenting on other blogs. That's all I can do.

Southpaw said...

Oh, I want to know too. I'm sitting back with my popcorn waiting to read each comment.

Cruella Collett said...

Now I want to learn how to juggle. The physical kind. I would also like to know the answer to the rest of your question, though, because whenever I attempt to be that active a blogger, I end up not doing anything else in my life. And right now that I do have a lot else going on, I don't really manage my bloggaduty. So, yeah. Let me know if someone reveals they can bend time, or something!

Talli Roland said...

Right now I'm definitely not doing it well! All I can think about is my coming book release. And I have other writing things on my plate I should be attending too...

DL Curran said...

My juggling is totally reliant on keeping my two little monsters under control - if I set aside 20 mins writing time, it takes an hour and a half to get it done. I beat myself up a fair bit about not getting everything done. Then over the weekend (when I was sick) I figured out for me I had to cut it back a bit - I try to get to all the blogs I visit on a weekly basis and catch up then because I just can't hit everyone every day, keep the kids, keep the house, write, have a workout (because goodness knows that's a necessity!!), and... meh, whatever. It's all good... and besides, you do awesome! You've the book coming out, blog tour, nano coming up, you blog more than most, and still there's always a comment from you when I post... so yeah, I wish I had it together like you! :)

Beth Zimmerman said...

I'm learning to prioritize, do the best I can, and let the rest go. And I periodically empty my reader so the 1000+ blog posts waiting to be read quit mocking me! It's not always an easy balancing act!

NiaRaie said...

Stress. Stress headaches, lots of sugar and the hope that someone, someday will find a way to squeeze a few more hrs into the day.

Carolyn Abiad said...

I find when other people are waiting for me to do crit my work, or pick them up from the bus stop...those get top priority. Then I break up my day into two parts: things I "should" do before the circus comes home, and things I "could" do get pushed to the afternoon. And I don't watch much TV.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes I don't juggle well.
Often you just have to let some things fall by the wayside.

Kelly Polark said...

I'm impressed you can actually juggle.
You have to prioritize and know sometimes you can't do everything.
Blogging, I make sure I comment on blogger friends' blogs at least twice a week. Not always every post, but at least weekly if I'm busy.
Writing I have to schedule in (or not like right now but hopefully I'll be back to it in two weeks).
Good luck!

RaShelle Workman said...

I'm sort of sucking it up myself. But, doing my best!!! So are you. By the way, love your Cassastar realease linky. Can I grab, copy and paste to my blog?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Marion, I'm hoping I can balance it all with NaNo.

Carolina, I understand that!

Lee, I just need to maintain this pace through October!

Laura, that's probably wise.

Cruella, I'll keep you posted!

DL, thanks! Didn't realize I had it that together!

Carolyn, I like my TV time! But I can work and watch at the same time.

RaShelle, I'll send it to you!

Ellie Garratt said...

Not very well! I set aside an hour a day to write a blog post and/or read other blogs, though often it is far more than that. Then I write whenever the opportunity appears. No amount of time is too small or too great!

I admit other things do slide, like dusting and baking!

Jeff Beesler said...

I make the time to take care of what needs taking care of. Whether it's building on relationships or building up my blog, working on writing or just working at the day job, I make time for these things.

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure it out, and hoping I reach the "Aha!" moment sooner rather than later.

Liza said...

Now that I am back working outside of the home...even though it's's a LOT harder...

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

A little bit of scheduling, a little bit of prioritising, and a little bit of freaking out :)

Helen Ginger said...

I'm not good at juggling. I'm constantly getting bonked on the head by things I drop.

Theresa Milstein said...

It is hard. I'm not successful with all of it. Something always slides. And when I work full-time, I'm sure blogging will have to take a smaller role in my life. Because I can't give up writing.

Good luck with your juggling.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ellie, I won't tell you how much time I devote to blogging then...

Lynda, I'm covered on the freaking out part!


I was relieved to see you can't always juggle everything. I can't either but when I check your blog you've always got something there that's taken some time to write and post.

The internet is a complete waste of time, at times. You have to decide each day which blogs of others that you will check. And some days let that slide. Let your own blog slid a few days. YOU WILL NOT DIE. I swear. I let mine slide while I was ill and it and I survived.

Plus with a book coming out and the tour you have to get some "me" time. You have to rest and eat right, etc. That's the mom in me. But it's true. You can spread yourself so thin that nobody gets what they paid for, so to speak.
Take care of you first and the rest will come.
Blessings and congrats again...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You have a book coming out plus a book tour? Focus on those, Alex.

A wise farmer does not till the same plot of ground over and over. He lets it lay fallow for a season.

And if dirt needs a rest, how much more so do you, a human being?

It's hard for me to juggle my overwhelming job as solo blood courier at night, writing on my WIP when I get home (not much, alas), and then write my daily blog.

If something big looms on your horizon, set priorities. Do what pays the bills first, then what feeds the heart.

Soon, due to my job demanding too much of me, I will face double hernia surgery. And my daily blog will stand idle for a time.

My heart is good -- except for being put to sleep for surgery -- so my blog may stand as is, a mute testimony to a writer who dreamed.

I wish high sales for your book and novel (pun intended) experiences on your book tour.

Thanks for visiting and following my blog, it means a lot. Hope to see you on the flip-flop, Roland

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, Mom!! I promise I will eventually take care of myself and my sanity.

Thank you, Roland! You've commented so often here, and yet I wasn't following your blog - my apologies. Hopefully your surgery does not take you away for too long.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Apparently...insomnia rocks if you're a writer.

I get most of my writing done at night after everyone is in bed in the hours after eleven and beyond.

Edge of Your Seat Romance

Jemi Fraser said...

Juggling is hard! I don't post daily for this very reason. This school year seems nuttier than most - more time consuming initiatives eating up my day. So I'm really finding the pinch this year.

Unknown said...

I wish I had an idea for how to handle everything. I get so overwhelmed some weeks... it's like I'm drowning, I just try and remember that writing is most important, and to do what I love. As long as I love it things even out.

Good luck!

WritingNut said...

Wait a minute. You mean you're actually supposed to keep the balls--um--everythingwe'resupposedtodoinlife--up in the air????

Guess that explains my dilemma. Everything is lying in piles all around me :S

Honestly.. I don't know. But I have so much respect for everyone that can. Can you please add another item to your list and please teach me how it's done (Alex--this will be your responsibility to convey)?

Don't worry.. just hang in there. I've heard it gets better, and I know it will. You're doing an awesome job so far :)

Marguerite said...

Each night before I crash, I write a simple list of 5 things that I must accomplish, the next day. I focus on those five, and then I have some fun! I used to have 20 or more things to do each day, but no longer have the desire to burn myself out! Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...

Life is crazy. I go in spurts. When I can write, blog, and visit blogs, I go nuts to the wall (yeah, I'm drinking wine tonight). Other days, its five minutes here, ten minutes there. I do the best I can and that's all I can do.

Stephen Tremp

ali cross said...

I DON'T always do it. Something always has to give.

The house is always tidy, but rarely as CLEAN as I'd like it to be.

I don't make gourmet meals (not that my family would appreciate it, if I did!), and sometimes I don't make a meal at all.

I don't spend a lot of time with friends, at least not daily. I do manage to see someone once a week or so, but that's usually about it.

The only things that really matter to me are my health (exercising HAS to happen), my family (homeschooling/time with the family HAS to happen), and my writing (that too must happen).

Anything else? It's all nice, and great, gravy if you will, but in the end, only those top three things are makes my world shine. :)

Don't stress yourself out about doing, or not doing, everything you want to do. There's a time and a season, right?

N. R. Williams said...

Honestly, I am still learning. But I can say that it's easier when I don't have my grandson. For two weeks I had him everyday. I was so tired it took two days to catch up on sleep. I love him, but he's a handful and he wants his Meme's undivided attention.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Enid Wilson said...

I write in the morning now, in absolute silent bedroom. Blog and do marketing in the evening, in front of the TV. And of course 9-5 is day job.

My Darcy Mutates

Ivana Dragicevic said...

I'm currently still studying at uni and while this does take up a lot of my time I can't complain too much. I do have my free days but I can imagine it will be harder to have free time once a real career sets in. I think we must remember not to ask too much of ourselves everyday, not to forget that we are here to live moreso than to complete a set of endless tasks.
cool blog :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Raquel, wish I could do that, but my brain shuts down by 10pm.

WritingNut, yeah, balls in the air! I'll keep you updated.

Marguerite, guess I need to shorten my list.

Ali, those things rate high with me as well. Plus my guitar. That's my sanity.

Ivana, that is sound advice!

Powdered Toast Man said...

I have a whole team behind me that works for free. I tell them what to write. It's like having a few assistants that don't mind getting paid in gum and oreos.

Pat Tillett said...

I understand! Throuw the fact that I'm wildly A.D.D. into the mix and I don't seem to make any progress at all. And I'm retired!

I'm retired and sometimes I still have way too much to do. My books and short stories seem to have taken a back seat to blogging and traveling around lately. I would love to hire someone to get all my stuff organized. I guess my answer to your question is, I have no idea!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

PTM, send an extra assistant my way! Preferably a sexy one.

Pat, don't begrudge the travels. Those are the moments you'll never forget.

Jamie Gibbs said...

Caffeine has become my new god (and now that Mountain Dew has hit the UK, that too. Glowy green goodness!)

I get the same problems, I tend to take on a ton of stuff at the same time and then I wonder how the hell I can get it all done. My method is usually to just focus on one thing at a time; put everything else on the back burner until the most urgent thing is done and then move on. Plus I slip in smaller tasks during my 'downtime' like I write my weekly comic on my commute to work, or I'll jot down blog post ideas in my lunch break. I don't give myself 'lazy time':P

Good luck with the blog tour, if you burn yourself out we'll be here with a cold beer and some sexy assistants :p