More Time Tracking

After last week’s post, seeing where I spent only eight on my actual writing, made me think a bit. It seems I spend so much more than that! But it turns out, that’s mostly on other, related stuff. Granted, I have a full-time job, and that takes up most of my time. But still, eight hours in all the evenings and weekend doesn’t sounds like much.

This week was a fairly uneventful one. Which to be honest, is nice. Of course, there was still a lot of this:

OK, I brought you the ball. Now what?

OK, I brought you the ball. Now what?

And some of this:

Her head does not make a good window

Her head does not make a good window

And even a trip to the pet store, with a visit to Bunny friend:

Isis and Rabbit

But mostly, I just did writing-related stuff. And this week, I actually gave some conscious thought to how much time I spent on that:

I spent a couple of hours  reading a research book. Of course, that’s reading, and it’s an interesting book, so that’s also something fun.

I probably spent a couple hours doing blog-related stuff (I didn’t track this very closely)–as in, getting last week’s blog up, visiting other blogs, responding to comments on my blog. Also stuff I enjoy, so no big deal. I actually read a lot more blogs, but I do some of that at work while I’m waiting for slow software to load and reload, so I don’t count it in my timekeeping.

I spent about three hours on a marketing workshop–there’s always something new to learn in this writing world, and this was some good stuff, worth the time. Just not actual writing.

I also did a book cover design this week. Before I was a software developer in my day job, I worked as a graphic designer for over 10 years, so it’s good to be able to put it to use once in a while. This was a project for a writing friend and one of my first readers. That took about seven hours–the model had pretty wild hair, which is tricky to work with when putting a person onto a different background. But taking the time to do it right is what makes the difference between a book cover that looks sort of (or very) amateur and “cut-and-paste”, and one that’s professional. She’s very happy with it, so it’s definitely a success. I’ll post it here when she’s ready to reveal it.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: In addition to the above, I managed to spend about nine hours finishing the revision markup on my WIP. Which is where I wanted to be. This week I have a few things going on in the evening, plus I need to start collecting tax stuff for the accountant, so backing off on the goals a bit: I’ll just shoot for getting the first three chapters revised. Even that may be ambitious; we’ll see.

What I read this week: Still the same novel as last week. It’s going slow not because it’s not good, but mostly because I spent so much more time with the book cover. I’m about 3/4 through it, so I’ll discuss next week.

What about you–do you think about how much time you spend doing various stuff throughout the week? Do you ever feel like you haven’t done much on a task, but when you give it some thought, you’ve done quite a bit? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

5 Responses to \

  1. I find it hard for me to track the amount of time I spend on stuff. Mainly because I get interrupted and I either forget to turn off the timer before I leave for said interruption OR I forget to turn it back on after returning. Therefore, I only track my writing words and not the time it took me to write them. Now, that doesn’t stop me from attempting “No internet until after 4pm or 1000 words.” In fact, that trick usually works to push me to write.

    And write I did last week. I set a goal for 5000 words and made it! I’ll be doing it again this week. And in “doing” I mean “setting the same goal.” I sure hope my tact works a second week.

  2. I don’t do much as far as tracking time spent. I prefer word count goals because, for me, it’s easier to say, “Today I wrote 2,000 words” as opposed to “Today I spent two hours writing.” Mostly because I’m terrible at keeping track of when I start and stop writing. I have a column on my word-count tracker spreadsheet where I can input the time I spent writing; it’s almost always blank because I forget to look at the clock. Your post reminded me that I should make better use of that column–if only so I know how fast I’m writing.

    Have a great week, Jennette!

  3. Even with your full time job, you’re still moving forward with your writing Jennette. And the research takes time too. I appreciate your posts because it makes me feel like Im not alone. And because my energy’s been zapped lately with a mono type virus, I haven’t been getting much writing done at all. Then my computer died and Im trying to learn a new one since my family encouraged me to buy and Apple. But I might just throw it out the window soon! Why is it so hard for me to learn a new program. Im getting old Jennette. lol. Keep these weekly post coming! ((Hugs))