As you’re reading this, I’m on vacation with my family. Due to the time warp of the Internet, as I’m writing this, I’m getting ready for that vacation, by trying to get the laundry wrapped up, the shopping done, the party that we are having two days before we leave (!) planned, and, of course, doing blog and podcast maintenance so that this train stays on the tracks while I am gone.

It’s no secret that it’s hard to find writing time. What I’m dealing with now, though, is once I clear out that ever so valuable time, how do I organize it? Assuming that there are multiple projects going on, maybe at different stages, what gets tackled first?

I don’t have answers for you, but I’m going to let you into my process as I’m wrestling with this. Setting aside for the moment my family obligations and the other things I actually have to do, here is my Kris the Writer list for before I go:

  • Final edits and publish an episode of my other podcast.
  • Prep and schedule contributor bios, emails, and other podcast administrative stuff to work while I’m gone.
  • Write up show notes and schedule the episode that will release while I’m gone (the one you’ve already heard.)
  • Write one blog post and one mini-blog post and schedule them.
  • Finish the rough draft of my work-in-progress which is supposed to come with me on vacation for some reflection before starting a second draft.

That’s a really big list for ten days.

At first glance, that seems like a pretty good order. It prioritizes the things that have people, like listeners or a co-host, depending on them. It meets the goal of keeping the train on its tracks. The things on the bottom are the expendable ones, the ones that will keep if they have to be put off a few weeks, or whatever.

But did you notice what’s on the bottom?

There will always be a list of things ahead of that work-in-progress, the novel you want to send out into the world. There will always be other deadlines, other projects, other collaborators. It’s like making time for yourself. If you don’t do, it doesn’t happen.

As I write this, I don’t know what this blog or podcast will look like while I’m gone. There’s a plan and I hope it will be realized. But I won’t do it at the expense of my writing. I have to make that time for me, too. I am forever grateful that I came to podcasting and launched this whole thing. But I am a one-woman band and I have to keep my center at the center. I said in exasperation to my husband the other night that I didn’t think there was a chance I’d make my own deadline on my work-in-progress. “Not with that attitude,” he told me. Thank goodness for accountability partners.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go write. Join me, won’t you?