I've been teaching a class called Going the Distance: Time and Project Management for Writers nearly every year for over a decade. I love it because I love helping people find a way to get what they truly want out of life. But how do you get what you want without sacrificing the wants and needs of your family?
Sometimes you need to do what you like to do together, regardless of what other people think. Many writers say they've given up television, which is great for them. For my husband and me, we love movies and TV as well as books so this is something we do together for fun and relaxation. Of course, sometimes you have to say, no, I'm sorry but I have to work tonight or this weekend.
Consider opportunity cost – I could get in 2 extra hours of writing a week if we only watched TV together 6 nights instead of 7. And a form of compromise might be – let's only watch TV together 5 or 6 nights a week so you get extra video game time and I get extra writing or reading time.
If you have other people with schedules you have to work around, consider having a family meeting and asking what's most important to each person. Maybe Suzie wants you to go to all of her ballet practices as well as recitals, and Johnny wants you to come to every single sporting event. Can you help little Suzie understand that you have to write in a corner during the practices, but you'll watch every move during recitals? Is Johnny okay with you coming to only the home games, or only the games he cares most about?
Can you and your spouse find ways to compromise and barter? Say, two Saturdays a month you get four hours of focused writing time, and two Saturdays a month your spouse gets four hours for their hobby or favorite activity. The possibilities are only limited to the creativity all of you bring to the table!
One of my students came to the realization that while she didn't like the idea of how much money her husband could spend golfing, they could compromise on how often he went and it was like “buying” writing time for her. Suddenly, the expense seemed worth it.
For more help and ideas with organizing your time and planning out your writing for the year, join me for my next annual class, Going the Distance: Time and Project Management for Writers. The class starts January 15, 2018, and includes lifetime membership to the class and the private Facebook group, as well as live video sessions where we work together to get you organized.
Additionally, I'll be a guest on Mark Dawson's Self Publishing Formula Podcast on January 5, 2018, giving you even more time management tips. Check it out! (The link will work starting January 5.)