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My Schedule(s)

People often ask me about my writing schedule, and the answer depends on your definition. If you mean time in front of the computer or curled up with paper and pencil, undisturbed, my time is very restricted. I have a full-time job that demands a true 40 hours a week, at least, and an understanding but loveable family. So I use my vacation and weekends for generous spurts of writing (at the computer or hand-scribbling). I’d love more time to write, but I’ve made my peace with this situation for the short run at least.

But if you are asking how much time I devote to writing, I would say it’s many, many more hours than that, because so much of it takes place without paper or computer – just thinking/dreaming. If I’m stuck in traffic, or walking to meet someone for lunch, or washing dishes, I’m also writing – plotting, listening to my characters talk, etc. I can also utilize time spent in waiting rooms, etc, because I always have a notepad and pencil handy.

Writing is my primary addition, and I feed it well.

But then there’s my INTERNET addiction, which is a byproduct of my writing life, and which is much more problematic. Short of buying some expensive equipment and monthly wireless service, I need to be home to feed that particular addiction.

When I’m home, I check the internet with embarrassing frequency, and spend some serious chunks of time mindlessly surfing.

I can’t do that when I’m in my downtown office – Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. For 10 hours a day, three days a week, I only use the internet for law-related purposes, so I’m virtually Kate-unplugged.

Tuesday and Friday are my telecommute days, so they’re a little different. I’m still working, but I can check hotmail and blogs during breaks and lunch and other downtime.

You can bet that when I get home from work on Mon, Wed, Thurs evenings I literally sprint into my home office to see if I have any exciting hotmail messages, or if the publishing world blew up while I was at work. Once I’ve determined that things are the same as they were 10 hours earlier (when I checked while brushing teeth, etc) I can change clothes, make dinner, and then do some serious pre-TV surfing.

The strange thing about being an addict is, those 10 hours without net access seem like a long, long time. If I’m really busy at work it doesn’t matter. But if I’m sitting in a conference room waiting for a meeting to start, my mind starts to wander to hotmail, and I wonder if there’s a monumental message – good or bad – sitting there, waiting for me. A rejection, a sale, a cool email from someone who just read one of my books. I start itching to check, but I can’t.

So definitely, TGIF!



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 20th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
I have a sorta-cure for your addiction. Blackberry! The little buggers beep and buzz when you get email from accounts that you tell it to access. It's evil. I know. They don't call it "crackberry" for nothing.

Did you see the new Bond movie this weekend?

Nov. 21st, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
I've been resisting because of the cost, especially because I only need access three days a week -- I'm home otherwise. I need to find something that costs a little less and just gives me limited access when I need it. Like those phones with a set number of prepaid minutes, but internet instead of phone.

No Bond yet, but I've been reading the raves on your blog and I'm dying to go see it. I skipped the spoilers so far.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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