Tag Archives: Mind

Motivation, Such An AggrAvation

Here we are, half way through the New Year. I know I’m not the only one struggling to stay on top of everything, struggling for the get up and go, struggling for motivation. One thing that has helped keep me going is staying organized by writing down my to-dos and my routines. I’m a mom, I have a million things to do every day and there’s always something at the end of the day I’m forgetting. Here are the main five pieces of advice I have and the five ways I stay motivated throughout the year, especially in the first few months. 

  1. Write out a physical to-do list

It always seems so much easier for our brains to process what we have going on for the day when we can see it all written out. Not only is it a good way to keep track of everything, but it’s also super gratifying to cross off each task as you complete them. 

  1. Write out a morning/evening routine
Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Same as above, having your goals for the day written out is the first big step to making sure you get all everything you need finished. I find it helpful to get together a solid morning and evening routing, allowing yourself plenty of time to get yourself established in the morning and also to wind down in the evening to help relax your mind for a restful night. 

  1. Leave yourself notes of inspiration or reminders
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Even a simple post with a kind motivator of ‘You’re doing great!’ can be a great reminder to be kind to yourself. I have a white board up in my office that I use for my daily tasks. While it was empty one day, my husband wrote on it ‘Remember to love yourself, too.’ and it warmed my heart so much that I’ve left it up for the last month. Every time I look at it, it’s a reminder to slow down and make sure I’m taking care of myself too. 

  1. Don’t overload yourself 
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While we have so many aspirations, it can be easy to overload ourselves. As I talked about in my post about resolutions last week, the best thing to do is set realistic goals. Stepping stones that can help lead you on your journey to your desired finish line. Great things take time and we can’t compare our chapter one to someone else’s chapter fifteen. Going at your own pace and taking large goals one step at a time helps you to stay motivated and not get quickly burnt out. 

  1. Treat yourself!
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After a long week, or just a long day, of accomplishing your goals and checking everything off your to do lists, we’re exhausted. Something I love to do afterwards is treat myself. Taking a few hours of relaxation to binge a new show on Netflix or indulging in a nice dessert, or your favorite take out when you don’t feel like cooking. Whatever your heart desires. It’s important to treat ourselves, we work so hard every day that rewarding ourselves is one of the most important items to cross off our weekly to-do lists. It gives us something to look forward to and also reminds us to love and take time to care for ourselves. 

Habits you set in the beginning of the year can set the tone for the entire twelve months. Having healthy habits and productive routines in place already puts you steps ahead from where you started. Staying motivation is a struggle but staying organized and focused is the key to success. 

New Year. Same Me?

The infamous New Years Resolution. You have to admire the human spirit. We look at the first day of a new calendar year as a fresh start. A new opportunity to leave the past behind us, to drop all of our old habits overnight and step into a whole new way of being. It’s ambitious, it’s overwhelming and 9 out of 10 times it doesn’t stick. We cannot become new people overnight without putting in the work. Let me say that again, we cannot form new habits and become new people overnight without putting in the work. Creating a skincare routine will not eradicate the demons that are hiding in your soul. Showers are basic hygiene, not self care. It’s deeper than all that. 

Humans are creatures of habit. We will choose to sit in the same seats throughout an entire semester of class. We choose the same coffee mugs in the morning. We choose the same meal when we order food. There isn’t anything wrong with this, it’s just how we are by nature. This is why our New Year’s resolutions don’t typically make it into February. Losing weight isn’t about going on a diet for two months and then falling back into unhealthy habits, it’s about completely changing your mindset and lifestyle, which is hard as hell. Especially after the year we just had. 2020 was testing enough as it is, why push yourself even further?

I decided I was going to push myself. Every year I make a New Year’s resolution and most of the time, I don’t follow through. Even last year, I pledged to read more books. And while I read significantly more throughout the Spring than I did the year before, I didn’t complete the 25 books I set my heart on. This year, I set resolutions but I chose things that I was already doing. I know, that’s not technically a resolution, but we’re allowed to do whatever we want.

1. Make time for books, whether it be reading them or writing them. 

2. Cut back on single use plastics.

3. Love myself. 

That’s it, just those three things. But those are huge, lifestyle changing commitments. Especially that last one, that’s the hardest of the bunch. Honestly, using less plastic is going to be the easiest, and I’ll go more into detail on that in a future post. 

The reality is, it’s not the date on the calendar that puts us on a better or healthier track of life, it’s us. We hold all the power. It’s looking inside yourself and deciding you want to change. You’ll never accomplish anything that you don’t truly want and wanting it is already half the battle. 

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Last year was tough, but it was a big eye opener for many of us, and I think with the arrival of this new year, it’s the perfect time to take the lessons we learned in 2020 and carry them with us. The idea that we are all human beings who deserve love, protection and justice. The idea that we can slow down and cut back, take time to analyze how we are treating our planet. If 2020 didn’t completely change you, I can’t explain it. I am definitely taking 2020 with me as I go forward. If we leave it in the past, then we can’t take what we learned with us. We need to learn from our hard times. We need to keep saying Breonna Taylor and Vanessa Guillen’s names. We need to keep considering the health and existence of other human beings. Compassion is never a bad trait. Educating and bettering yourself is never a waste of time. As Oscar Wilde said, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” 

To come full circle, the idea of a resolution is great, but it needs to be something obtainable. Something that will improve your life and most importantly, something you’re ready for. Brew yourself a pot of coffee, take your time, and step into this year with the lessons of your past and kick some ass. You create your own destiny, you decide who you are and what kind of person you’re going to be. We’re all on this journey of life, some of us are just getting started and some have been on this path for years, so be kind to your neighbor because you never know which part of the voyage they’re on. 

NaNoWriMo Prep

November is one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons. The cold weather, the delicious foods, the cozy sweaters, and most importantly, National Novel Writing Month! Now, I know some writers like to dive right in on November 1 with no plan, no direction, just writing by the seat of their pants. And while I think that’s wonderful, it’s just not something I can pull off. My anxiety won’t allow it. I need a plan for literally everything and my writing is no exception. 

NaNoWriMo prep for me begins usually in the summer time as I mull over the different ideas I have for stand alone novels. I like to do stand alone stories during NaNo because it’s a fresh page and I enjoy starting new projects that I haven’t touched before. The reason I gravitate towards new stories is that I like the challenge of writing an entire novel’s worth in just thirty days. It’s like a super power that few people can pull off. That being said, writing and prepping are two totally different beasts. 

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Middle of October I usually have a concrete story idea picked out and this is when I prefer to sit down and get a loose plot outline together. This can be as detailed as you want it to be. Sometimes I find it useful to type out a description of how I picture an entire scene but other times a simple, “Main character goes to talk to a side character” is enough for the time being. Honestly, you’ll change your plot more than once during the writing process so sometimes detail is not your friend. The main thing I try to get down on paper for NaNo prep is who I’m writing about and what do they want. 

One of my favorite things for NaNo is a new notebook. Yes, you’ll be doing most, if not all, of your writing on your laptop and probably your plot too but there’s just something about the first blank page of a fresh notebook to really symbolize the new beginning that is your NaNo project. 

So the first thing to decide during your NaNo prep is, what do I want to write about? What interests me? Who’s voice do I want to share with my readers? Who is this person, and most importantly, what do they want? What are they willing to sacrifice to get it?

When you’re writing about 1700 words per day for a month straight, you want to have a vague answer for these questions before you sit down on November first and begin your journey. Especially if this is your first time participating in NaNo. It took me a few years before I dove into participating. I was in college, I was already working on a book in my free time. I thought between working full time, being a full time student and still wanting free time to be creative in other outlets filled up my plate pretty full. And to be honest, it was probably a smart decision for me. So the first semester I had after graduating college, I was so ready to be creative in November like so many other writers around the world. 

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Also, you want to make sure you have sufficient time throughout the day to sit down and write without distraction. If you’re a mom like me, you want to make sure you don’t have children climbing all over you or a significant other asking you questions while you’re trying to stay focused on the task at hand. Make sure you have snacks on hand, a nice cup of tea (or coffee or whatever you fancy), and a good pair of headphones. You want to be able to focus on and not get distracted. It’s hard to get lost in your own world, let alone create one, when you aren’t able to give it your all. 

Five Things I Can’t Live Without as a Writer

There’s a lot of fancy writing apps and calendars and pretty floral cover everything, but do we really need all of it? Totally. You invest in whatever is going to help you be more productive and creative. Everyone has their rituals that help them get into the groove for making art. A special pen. A specific corner of the room with the best lighting for sketching. The sun at the perfect angle in the sky. For me, there are five essential things I need as a writer. Things I can’t live without and go out of my way to make sure I have on hand. 

An external hard drive– for backups. DO NOT keep all your writing on this and only this. My hard drive shit out on me a while ago and while I lost some pictures, thankfully I had all my current projects saved on my computer as well. Always have your work saved in two or three places, as much as we love and utilize technology, it’s still very fragile. 

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Notebooks. I shop for notebooks like I’m a kid going back to school, old habits die hard. When I was attending college, I had notebooks for literally everything. While everyone else was typing away during lecture, I was scribbling. Attempting to keep up with my professors. Even though I can type much faster than I can write, there’s something about a pen on paper. I retain information easier that way. I feel more engaged that way. When I’m on a streak, typing is definitely my go to, but when it comes to plot and drafting out chapters, I am still an ink on paper kind of gal. 

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Evernote and Google Docs. The thing I love the most about these apps, you don’t have to transfer information. You can access your account on your computer and your phone, and what you change on one, you change on both. When I would be at work and have an idea, I would open up whatever doc I needed and jot down my idea. When I got home, there it was waiting to be utilized when I turned on my computer. Having all your goodies in the same place makes your life as a creative writer a million times easier. 

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A Day Planner. Again, old habits. There’s something about list making that makes productivity more magical. When I see it written that today I have to finish two chapters and do some laundry, I just don’t feel right until I check the boxes that I did those things. If I don’t write them down, then I feel like I’ll never get around to them. Organization is key, and this is how I stay organized. I also keep track of all my blog posts, bills, and my husband’s appointments as well. Let’s just say not a single day in that planner is blank. 

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Music. This may seem kind of cliche, but it’s so true. If you want to get in a mood to get some shit done, then all you need is the right playlist to inspire you. I have a playlist for every single project. Every story has its own soundtrack and when one of these songs comes on, I can’t help but feel the urge to get some work done. I went into more detail on this one a while back in a previous blog. (Insert blog link for inspirational music).

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Seeds, Core, and All

After watching the series Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu (based on the novel by Celeste Ng), I knew I had to read the book. Usually I don’t go in this order. If I know something is based on a book, I make sure to read it first but I figure I’d try something new. The series was amazing. Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon are amazing. If you haven’t seen it yet, do so. The book, on the other hand, was half exactly what I was expecting and half a complete surprise. 

First, what I liked about the novel was the writing style. It is a complete opposite of how I write, so it was interesting to see a different approach to storytelling. It’s told in third person, allowing the reader into the heads of not only the two main characters but their family members as well. A lot of times when writers do this, it can feel a bit chaotic but Ng pulled off switching narratives with such grace. It was the most natural flow of view points I’ve ever read. Like all the characters were running a marathon, passing the baton off to one another seamlessly. It was impressive.

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The parallels are anothing thing I admired about the plot. I’ll attempt to explain without spoilers, but Mia and Bebe’s story lines are so complex and similar. They really make you sit back and contemplate morality. What is right? What actions are truly justified? What makes a parent and what determines who is a good parent? Good books are ones that make you think, and this one definitely does that. As a mother, parts of this narrative struck really close to home. Sympathy for a character who suffered from half a dozen miscarriages turns to adoption only to have that threatened as well. The love that you feel for your children running so deep in your veins and having to accept the distance as they get older. The space they need to become their own person cracks your soul because cuddling them as infants becomes such a safe haven that slowly gets taken away. Safe havens, another parallel in the novel that isn’t what it seems on the outside. 

The town the novel is based, Shaker Heights, stuck out to me. Clashing of the social classes is nothing new, but it’s a theme in stories that I have always found very intriguing. How can someone feel they are more superior than someone else based on the square footage of their home? It’s something Ng did on purpose. No one can expose a town for what it truly is than someone who grew up there. Shaker Heights looks pristine on the outside. Progressive, idealistic, clean and crisp. In reality, it suffers the same issues that every other town in America does. Exclusiveness. Pretentious. White, very white. Although other races do reside in the town, it’s very much viewed as a privilege by many community members. “We don’t see color.” Is a common quote that comes up many, many times. It opens up a question that many people are pondering on today, what does not seeing color actually mean and what’s wrong with seeing people for who they are? Is seeing color the problem or is treating someone differently because of it the actual issue? It’s an important conversation and Ng does a fabulous job demonstrating the conflict some of her characters face with this particular topic. 

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All in all, it’s definitely a story I recommend, especially if you’ve seen the show. There are so many differences between the show and the book, naturally, but many of the changes I wonder why they did so. Other than attempting to make the show more edgy and dramatic, I didn’t see a need. Especially the ending. Completely changing who actually sets the fire that is introduced in the beginning of the novel really threw me off. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, yeah? 

How I Use Pinterest to Write

Much like my previous blog post, using music as a writing inspiration (link). Pinterest is another great resource for writers in need of some visual aid. While most of the time we can set the stage and describe a character based on the image in our mind, it’s nice to look at an example right in front of you. You never know when you can forget little details like the freckles on a secondary character’s nose or the tiny hairs on a butterfly’s body. 

My favorite way to utilize Pinterest for writing is a character’s physical description. I’ll save several photos on boards designated for each project. This girl’s hair with this other girl’s jaw line combined with this third girl’s eye color. It sounds tedious but I thoroughly enjoy spending an afternoon scrolling looking for inspiration. Sometimes I even find a photo of an actor or a model and think, “Oooh that’s how I pictured so-and-so would look!” And it helps bring the people living inside my head to paper. 

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Another great way to use Pinterest as a tool is for scenery. Maybe you’re writing a scene that takes place in the desert but you’ve never been to Arizona. Maybe you’ve only been to the coast a few times but your characters are having an intimate conversation at the beach? It’s always great to have a visual. When I travel, I always take photos of the landscapes and save them just in case I want to look at the lush forests of Western Oregon while I sit in desolate southern Texas. Even though I grew up in the mountains and I remember the feeling well, it’s never a bad idea to give yourself some extra inspiration. 

Not only does Pinterest have great visuals, there are also loads of construction tools and writing inspiration. Looking for a blog post to help you develop an underwhelming villain? Interested in finding a list of items you may not have thought of while building your own world? I guarantee there’s something on that website that can help you out. There’s also a lot of great information and tips when it comes to publishing as well! Submitting to a publisher or literary agent for the first time can be overwhelming, self publishing even more so. I found Pinterest was one of my best sources for seeing how other writers went about the publishing process and what they would have done differently. 

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Personally, I use Pins for everything listed above. I go above and beyond and I have a separate account solely for my YA fantasy series so that it doesn’t get mixed in with the other stories. I do this because with five books plotted out, there’s a lot of different boards to keep things organized. But for my stand alone projects, I use one account for them all with just one board for each story line. Since Pinterest added categories to each board a while ago, it’s even easier to stay organized and keep your visuals from getting all mixed together. 

Musical Inspiration for Writing

Music and writing are the two branches of the artistic oak tree that stand the strongest in my life. While I love and admire all forms of creativity, those two are my heart and soul. Even though writing and music are two very different entities, they really do go hand in hand. The poetry of lyrics along with harmonies and tempos are one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to creative writing, and I’m just one of many, many writers who use music to grow and develop our craft. 

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Spotify is one of the best writing tools I have in my arsenal. It’s extremely user friendly and you can make a playlist for all of your projects, moods, pretty much anything you want. All art is emotional and music is no exception. With the help of an epic orchestra piece, you feel ready to fight (or write about) a glorious battle. Music can also help you connect to emotions you aren’t experiencing in your everyday life, but have to convey on paper. An angsty rock song can help you connect to a character who is feeling angry or a heartfelt love song can give you insight into how a character’s heart is soaring or breaking. 

I have a playlist for the three main projects I’ve worked on, two of which are stand alone novels I’m preparing for self publication and the other is for my YA fantasy series that is still in progress (Yes, the one I’ve been writing forever lol). Within these playlists are songs that not only describe the moods in particular scenes but my characters. I make sure to have at least one song that fits the personality and mindsets of my main characters and my lead secondary characters. Not only does this help me get into their heads, but it also gives me an outlet to put another element of my style into the writing. 

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Nothing gives me a stronger motivation to write than when I’m driving in the car or I have a playlist on shuffle at home and a song that is linked to one of my projects comes on. I’m instantly transported to another world and I want nothing more than to sit down and connect with the characters. 

Five Favorite Writing Locations

  1. Bodies of water. There’s something magical about the water. Whether you’re sitting in the sand next to the roaring ocean waves or in the pebbles next to a cobalt blue lake, it’s definitely a religious experience. If I could be anywhere in the world to write, it would either be on Ocean Beach in San Francisco or in the trees overlooking Lake Tahoe. Watching the ripples of the tide brings instant inspiration, like a creative cleanse. Us humans are 60% water after all, so it only makes sense that we are naturally drawn to bodies of water. Gravitational forces lead us around for a purpose, so we might as well create some art on the journey.
Photo by Manu from Pexels

2. My home office. I love my office. I love it so much I wrote an entire blog post about it (https://mysticquill.com/2020/06/10/create-the-perfect-space/). There’s something special about a space that’s designed just for you, decorated by you FOR you. It’s the little things that help drive us to create. Whether it be a unique painting on the wall or a motivational quote you write for yourself, there’s no place like home.

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3. Coffee shops. Coffee shops are poetic. The smell of roasted coffee beans grinding up to make the perfect little shot of espresso. The single person table shoved in the corner of the room, right next to an outlet. The dimmed lighting. It’s literally the perfect setting for an intimate conversation with a friend and to read (or write) an amazing book. I can spend hours at a local coffee shop or cafe with my headphones plugged in, typing away as fast as my fingers will carry me. I always have a cup of caffeination next to me while I work anyway, and as much as I love working from home, it’s always nice to have a change of scenery.

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4. The park. There’s no comparison for fresh air and the park is the perfect place to step out of your comfort zone. When I was in college, I did all my studying in the library and all my writing in the park. Nestled up under the shade of a massive oak tree, a light breeze blowing through the leaves overhead creating a soft lullaby. Friendly squirrels coming up to say hello, watching dogs chase after balls, couples strolling down the walking paths hand in hand. Can you think of anything more romantic?

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5. In bed. This is my go to when my husband has friends over on a weekend night, but I still have work to get done. Since my office is right off the living room (and I get easily distracted), it’s easier to hide away in my bedroom when that pesky daily word count has yet to be made. Our beds are one of the coziest and safest places in the world, and the perfect location to make our dreams come true. After all, that is where we create them, so why not go back to the source to manifest them!

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Create the Perfect Space

Having your own space in any home is pivotal. Everyone needs their own bedroom, their own sanctuary to escape to. Having an office, or a designated place to focus, is a must for anyone who is serious about getting some work done. Before I had my own office set up, I would grab my laptop and get comfortable on the couch. It wasn’t so bad unless I had Netflix on (which was always) or my phone would call out my name (which was always). It was so easy to get distracted and even though I was comfy under a soft blanket, my writing suffered because of it.

So when we moved into a bigger house, I knew exactly what the unused space would be perfect for. My home office. It was as if this space was made for me. Right off of the kitchen, close to the coffee pot. My desk fits perfectly in front of the window, allowing in natural light and a beautiful view of the green backyard. Baby gates already blocked the doorways leading into the room keeping my little Princess from doing her favorite thing in the world, which is moving things from one place to another. It was meant to be.

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Picture it, waking up refreshed on a. overcast Sunday morning. A fresh cup of warm coffee waiting for you on the kitchen counter in your favorite mug. Rain sprinkles down on the windows, creating the perfect rhythmic pattern to patch your fingers typing against the keys. Your favorite inspirational playlist on Spotify plays quietly in the background as you express yourself, only having to type “synonyms for ….” into google once or twice. I’m a simple human, that’s all I want. 

Decorating this space in my home was a real treat and even though I’m not quite finished, it already feels so warm and inspirational. I covered the walls with tapestry and banners I’ve had since high school, others I found on Amazon. A white board where I can keep track of the things I need to get done that day, or the occasional inspirational quote to keep me motivated. Even though I have a planner at my desk, it helps me reidorate my tasks when I write them on the white board. Maybe it’s from all my years in the education system.

I found my desk at Target and was amazed at how inexpensive their selection was. Not only was it sturdy and solid but simple to put together. The little shelf off to the side of the desk is perfect for a desk lamp, your coffee mug, whatever your heart desires. While I was at Target, I browsed the clearance section because, let’s be honest who can just walk past that gold mine. I found this little triangle shelf and I knew instantly I wanted to use it to display my crystals and stones. I carefully selected the gems I did to help bring protection and balance to my office space and having them up on the wall right next to me where I can feel their energies really ties the office together.

Half way through set up, while my office was still a HOT MESS.

I wasn’t completely sold on the cubby storage unit when I bought it (also at Target. Yes, I know, I have a problem). But they fit within my budget and provided the space I needed to stay organized and also have a few spare cubbies for my husband to use for his college books. Now, I’m so pleased with them. The cubbies were simple to put together and, for the price, are holding together quite well. 

This setup is perfect for those on a budget. One of my favorite places to get interior design inspiration is Pinterest, like any millennial woman, and in my searches I noticed that everything looked the same. Big desk, big beautiful chair. All the stationary and pens are matching with the perfect shades of blush and rose gold. And as stunning as that is, it’s just not in my budget. So this is what I came up with, simple and sweet. 

Finished product!

My office/meditation room/indoor herb garden is the perfect combination of all my needs and interests. Which is the whole point of putting together a creative space, making it perfect for you! Not only will you feel accomplished after finishing your home office, but you’ll be able to get an exceptional amount of work done. Whether you’re writing, painting, or playing music, having a space with purified energy will help make or break your progress. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you put into your art if you aren’t inspired. 

my Secret to time management

This current shelter in place has taught us many things, good and bad, but one major thing that has been brought to light is the idea that we don’t do many things we intend to because we simply don’t have time? That’s a total lie, and that’s okay! There’s only so many hours in the day, every day isn’t going to be perfect or awful. It’s a roller coaster ride of balancing out the good and the bad. A healthy heart rate beeping on a monitor. When I first decided to shelter in place at home (like two months ago), I thought about all the things I was going to get done. Excitedly, I made a list of all the things in the house I was going to clean. All the writing I was going to get done. All the projects I’d catch up on. It’s comical looking back on it, seeing how many of my to do lists still sit half finished, and normally that would make me feel like an unproductive failure. When I sat down and really thought about what was keeping me from getting all the things I want done, I realized my problem was time management. 

Every other job has a daily schedule. Specific hours in the day that you tell yourself you’ll be productive. The juggle is, as artists, we can’t always flip a switch and turn our inspiration on and off. My compromise, a daily schedule that is strict enough to get some work done but loose enough that I am allowed some wiggle room. To begin, I made a list of things I absolutely wanted to get done each day in order of priority and some ideas to fill those time slots. Not every item on this list is a must do every single day, but just ideas on what I can do to fill the time I have set aside for each category. Don’t get over ambitious here. If your list is only three items long, that’s perfectly fine. The last thing I wanted to do was create things that I could live without just to fill up a schedule but end up overwhelming myself and not getting anything done. My main topics of interest were writing, blogging and my family. 

Photo by Александар Цветановић from Pexels

To do list:

Writing:

Character profiles

Background/Plot 

Meet word count for the day (700-1,000?)

Blogging:

Write/edit future blog posts

Check on analysys views and comments

Post on social media

Pick up around the house

Laundry

Take kids outside to play

Prep for dinner

SCHEDULE

MON-FRI

8 AM: Wake up. Breakfast. Kid’s screen time

9-Noon: Pick up house, laundry. Take kids outside to play. Dinner prep

Noon-12:30 PM: Kid’s name time. Mom’s meditation. 

12:30-3:30 PM: Write/Blogging

3:30 PM: Husband gets home

4-6 PM: Family time and dinner

6-7 PM: Exercise. Go for a walk

7:30 PM: Shower

8-11 PM: Write/Blogging

Writing/Blogging hours: 6

Total: 30 hours

SAT-SUN

Set aside two hours to write/blog. More relaxation and downtime. 

Total writing/blogging hours: 4 hours 

Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

When I first looked over my daily schedule, I thought, “Wow, I don’t have any time during the day to write.” But in reality, there’s six hours in the day set aside to work on whatever is currently inspiring me, and four hours on the weekend. In reality, that’s a full time job. 36 hours a week. And if I end up only being able to do three or four hours instead of six during the week, at least I’m getting work done! I am incredibly fortunate to be able to have this time to set aside for myself as a mother. I talk to so many women who don’t have a free moment during the day to think, let alone be creative at home. When my husband gets home from work, he immediately switches over from soldier to father, without even thinking twice about it. He has been at work all day and understands that I need that time to get my work done, just like he has been able to do. It’s a true partnership and while not impossible, it would be difficult to get anything done writing wise if I was in this alone. 

The reality is, everyone’s situation differs with varying needs. The point isn’t to take someone else’s priorities and schedule as your own, but to use it as inspiration to create your own timeline that fits your personal needs and lifestyle. The best thing about making your own schedule for being productive at home, if you need a mental day off to veg in front of the television, then take it! Not every single day of your life needs to be measured in what work you did that day. Americans take less vacation time than any other country in the world. We already overwork ourselves to the bone, but how we are feeling is just as important as what we are doing. It all begins with a positive and inspired mindset!