Time Management

It’s All About Efficiency

Time_ManagementHappy Thursday Everyone!  We are getting ready to make a 7 hour drive north to Columbus, Ohio for a gymnastics meet this weekend (Go Spotacus!), and as I was packing my suitcase and staring at my computer longing to be writing, I figured I could spare a few minutes blogging.  That should give me enough of a fix to last a few days.

Today was supposed to be my writing day.  I’ve been super busy at the day job the past few weeks, we had a meet in Orlando, and last week was Spot’s birthday which pretty much means a week long “gala”.  Like Mardi Gras without the beads.  Homemade pancakes one day, a movie another, dinner out at her favorite restaurant another.  I mean, I usually just got a birthday card and my mother’s mediocre (LOVE YOU MOMMA) rendition of happy birthday.  What is with this?

Any who, we’ve been busy as always so I haven’t really had a chance to write much.  And Jenna P without writing time is like a hangry toddler three hours late for her nap.  I had planned to write this morning before we head up to Ohio, which was enough to keep me from having a meltdown this week.  But then, as my family was saying their goodbyes on their way to school and work, it happened.

“Mom, I didn’t have a chance to pack.  I was at the gym late last night,” says Spotacus.

“Me neither.  And I didn’t pack any movies to watch in the van.  Can you get some?  Make sure you get GOOSEBUMPS,” says Minnie.  “And can you charge my tablet?  It’s somewhere in my room.”

“Oh yeah.  My phone too,” says Spotacus.

This is on top of all the other TO DO items I had.  Like packing for me and my husband, getting the van ready, etc…  Maybe if I was a little more selfish I could just say, “Sorry.  You knew we were leaving.  This should’ve been done.”  But instead, I looked longingly toward my computer for a moment, took a deep breath and said, “Sure.  No problem.”

I could’ve gotten mad and started screaming, but here’s the thing – they are kids.  Spot was at the gym an extra two hours last night working beam routines.  Minnie was at home trying to finish up all her homework to hand in a day early since she will miss a half day today and a full day tomorrow.  The Accountant is in the middle of month end at work, so he’s pulling some extra hours at work.  We had a client deadline today, so I had to work some extra hours to get my design done.  So I do what I have to.

Point is, no matter how hard I try to plan ahead, things always come up.  That’s called BEING A MOTHER.  That’s called BEING A WIFE.  That’s called BEING EMPLOYED.  That’s called LIFE.  I can’t change that.  But I can change the way I approach my writing time, which is why I’m coming up with a new game plan, or maybe revisiting an old game plan.

Starting next week, I’m going to start writing every day for at least an hour in the mornings.  I will do this before the girls get up and the whirlwind of potential obstacles can even begin.  My brain is pretty much turned to mush at night from doing math all day at work, so writing after they go to bed isn’t an option.  I’m just going to have to suck it up.

It will be an adjustment, but my hope is that I can retrain myself to write in short sprints, which is really the problem when it comes down to it.  I’ve gotten into this habit of thinking I can’t write at all if I don’t have two or three hours to devote to it.  But I think the reason I need two or three hours is because I go so long in between writing that it takes a good bit of time just to get back into my story.  Maybe if I write every day I won’t have to do that.  It’s all about efficiency.  I can’t make more time, so I need to learn how to be more efficient with the time I have.

If you are having a hard time squeezing in time, try it with me!  I’ll check in on Facebook and Twitter about how it’s going, and I would love to hear from any of you.  After all, misery loves company.  Dragging my butt out of bed will be so much easier if I know somewhere out there, someone is doing the exact same thing in the name of words.  And if you have any other ideas on how I can be more efficient, I’d love to hear them!

Jenna P

Who makes it happen?  YOU make it happen.


New Year, New Path, New Blog

Thank you SO much for checking out my new blog!  For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jenna P – retired blogger from the awesome Bad Girlz Write.  If you haven’t checked them out, you definitely should.  Lots of great advice on writing, fashion, and the latest men of Marvel.  Oh, and the Bad Girlz also happen to be amazing authors too.  Check them out!

This being my first official blog on my own, I wanted to let you know a little about me and a little about what you can expect from my new blog going forward.   But first off, I want to wish my amazingly talented daughter, “Spot-acus,” a happy birthday!  How fitting it is that 12 years ago today I set off on a new journey as I became a mom, and today my new journey begins as a solo blogger.  I have to say, I’m equally as scared today as I was then.

In case you are wondering, no, we are not cruel parents and no she is not a dog.  All her lovely freckles earned her the nickname “Spot” on her gymnastics team, and since she is such a warrior on the Floor (and a little independent and stubborn at home) we’ve upgraded her to “Spot-acus.”  Sounds a little more Unstoppable than Fetch, don’t you think?  Spot just started her season as a Level 6 gymnast last weekend in Orlando and she did great, taking First place on Floor and Third on Vault!

My youngest daughter, “Minnie,” earned her nickname because she looks just like me.  Minnie is also an amazing gymnast.  She is the reigning Level 2 Vault and All-Around NC state champion in her age bracket (YAY)!  Minnie is my girly girl, my tender heart, and my free spirit.  Her and her sister couldn’t be more different, but I couldn’t love either one of them any more than I do!

I’ve been married to my husband, whom I shall call The Accountant, for 15 years.  He is my best friend, my hero, and my second half.  I couldn’t ask for a more supportive partner as I climb through the trenches of this sometimes unforgiving industry, or ask for a better pancake maker.  (Seriously — best pancakes EVER).

Okay, so enough doting on my family.  Thank you for enduring.  So what about me?

I’m a roadway engineer by day, women’s fiction writer by night (and sometimes early mornings).  I love alternative music, The Walking Dead, insane roller coasters, Disney, and college football (Go Buckeyes!).  I’m known to be a little sarcastic (not jerk sarcastic…funny sarcastic like Chandler Bing), and I tend to tell it like it is rather than sugar coat it.  I suffer from RBF (resting bitch face), but I SWEAR I’m a super nice person and totally approachable!  If you see me at a conference standing off in a corner it’s not because I think I’m better than anyone, it’s just because I’m a total introvert and I’m giving myself a little pep talk.  Before I die, I want to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, climb a volcano (preferably one that’s inactive), see my great grandchildren get married, and –oh yeah – get published!

As for what you can expect to read about here, well there’s all of that – my insane life as a gym mom, the funny nuances of being an introvert, my constant comparisons to FRIENDS episodes – but also, and probably more so, my adventures of being a writer.  We’ll talk craft, business, women’s fiction, time management, and share in all the ups and the downs of the industry.  I hope to have guest bloggers on to tell you about their new releases and to give more insight than just mine.  But my main goal with this blog is to connect with other writers and women’s fiction readers (and maybe a few fellow gym moms, introverts, alternative music fans, and college football lovers).  So I hope that you will come back and visit me, leave me a few comments, and help make this blog a place where writers and readers can go to discover someone or something new!

Jenna P

Who makes it happen?  YOU make it Happen!