Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Time Divvied Up -- Pie Charts Included

I want to thank everyone who asked me a question for my Dear Author Dearest post on Darkly Delicious YA. It was difficult to chosee just one question, but I went with "What's your take on voice? Some people say it can't be learned. Do you agree?” because this is a subject that comes up a lot when speaking to aspiring authors. You can click here to see my response.

As promised, I'm going to take the next few weeks to answer the other questions here on my blog, starting with how I divvy up my time. 

Here's the question:

     "I'd like to see how people divvy up their time between writing/blogging/social media. Pie charts please."

I have this information included in one of my school presentations, pie charts and all. J

For the purpose of this post, "blogging" is included "social media". Most of that time is either writing or reading blog posts, with time on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media kept to a minimum. 

How I divide my time changes depending on the time of year (I write less in summer than I do in winter) and if I have a book coming out (just swap “writing” and “marketing” and you’ll get a good idea of how my time shifts during the weeks leading up to a release). But overall, the charts below do a good job of depicting a typical workday. 


Before I was published, writing time really was writing time. You'll notice I include querying, social media, and reading. I'd take a break from writing to do research on agents and editors, keep up with my friends on social media, bounce around the blog-sphere, and of course enjoy a good read.



Once I sold my first book more time went to keeping up with emails and marketing. Just before a release, writing time is spent writing guest posts, doing interviews, and preparing for the release date.

The above charts make it look like I spent most of my day writing, and that would be amazing. But I work full-time and then there are all of life's other little distractions. Below is a realistic look at a typical 24-hour day.



How does this compare to your typical day? Do you limit how much time you spend on social media? Does the amount of time you spend writing/blogging/on social media change depending on the time of year?

Thanks Leslie S. for this questions!

Feel free to use this idea for a similar post on your blog. Be sure to come back and post the link to your post in the comments so I can stop by.


12 comments:

  1. When I'm writing (and during holidays and vacation) social media is much less. I'm fortunate I can blog from work so it doesn't all cut into my personal time. I also have to add guitar practice to that chart.
    Sometimes it's surprising when you start counting the hours.

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    1. It is surprising to see where the time goes. I turn off my wireless when I'm writing. That helps me stay off the internet and keeps me from getting distracted.

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  2. If I had a pie chart of how I divide up my time, at least 50% of it would say "eating ice cream" :)

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  3. This is interesting! I tend to write more in the summer, so it might look like your first pie chart, but in the winter, when I'm juggling work and my kids' schooling, it's more like the last one, with writing a little sliver.
    Except the strange thing I've found is that sometimes when I have more time available, I tend to waste it more.

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    1. There's just something about knowing you have lots of time that makes it easy to say I'll write in a few minutes. Which always ends up much later.

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  4. This is such a beautiful thing. The former financial analyst in me really responds to those pie charts. Seriously. :)

    And the writer in me is just sooo relieved by this honest portrayal of time management. Everyone thinks we authors seclude ourselves in a garret for hours if not days on end just typing away (on a typewriter, probably, if not handwriting with a quill pen). Maybe the lucky, tiny percentage of writers who actually live off their writing can do that, but for us day-job folks, it's really not an option. I've felt so guilty that I don't allocate more time to writing on a daily basis and am always ashamed to admit to people how little I do, but it's a constant struggle...paved with great intentions but poor follow-through.

    In any case, I am pleased to see that of the time you dedicate to your author life, the majority of it is spent writing and not sucked into social media, etc. There must be some value in the latter, but the former must always come first to feed the creative soul. :)

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    1. There are days I struggle to write too. Summer is the worst because it's nice outside. I don't want to work all day then stay in the house all night. Life's just too short.

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  5. Awesome pie charts. Visual me, thanks you so much. I really appreciate the variations depending on realistic circumstances.

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    1. I do get a little sad if I stare at the last chart too long. Who came up with 8 hour work days, anyway??

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  6. You've got a nice balance in your life. I write a whole lot more in winter too. Summer is for getting out into the sunshine!

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    1. Yep. And I enjoy being outside when it's nice.

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