The Time Paradox (Revamping the Schedule)

hourglassI posted my daily schedule a while back.  Due to the ghosts in the time machine, I must adjust and move forward with purpose.  Before I spell out the new schedule, I want to take a minute to discuss why the schedule must change.

When I started this blog page:

  1. I was writing a single book.  Now I have finished writing this book and started a rewrite.  Additionally, I am writing a novella, three graphic novels, and the discovery draft of another separate book.
  2. My baby boy was napping three or more hours a day. Additionally, he wasn’t mobile.  Now Thor naps for about half the amount of time and is moving at the speed of babylight (which is slower than a walk and faster than a crawl).
  3. I was working as a freelancer on websites like Upwork and Freelancer with limited success.  My clients were few and far between and many of the jobs were very short.  Now I own my own editing business. It has generated some awesome clients and a decent workload.
  4. My wife was working “normal” Navy hours.  Now she is working 12-hour shifts.

No Breaks

For these reasons, I must adjust the schedule.  It should be noted that I owe the success of my business to this page and the time I devoted to it.  I also owe this page for introducing me to so many brilliant people. This QE website has been a lightning rod of creativity and self-growth for me.

Personal ramblings aside, let’s look at the new schedule.

Monday:  Book blurb day or a new post.  I’ve read more than thirty books on writing since I started this page.  Every now and then I toss together a collage and write a blurb about a book. (My “reads” category contains examples.)  It’s not really a review, but an insight about the content of the book.  Again, this is my way of offering you all the resources I can and populating the page with useful content.

Tuesday/Sunday: Off days.  I wanted a couple days of the week to spend my allotted blogging time reading other blogs and commenting.  If I continue posting every day, I simply don’t have enough time to reply to comments and reach out beyond my own page.

Wednesday: Feature Wasteland Wednesday and/or author news.  Wastelander: The Drake Legacy publishes next year, but it’s the first in a very long Wastelander series.

As I will start the publishing process early next year, I want to make Wednesday a day to also share news about what’s going on with me professionally (failures, successes, conventions I’m attending, etc).

I‘m also working with some amazing authors as an editor.  I want to spotlight them here as well, when possible.

Thursday: A new and glorious post.

Feature Friday.jpg

Feature Friday.  This is one my favorite additions to my page.  I will continue taking a day each week to highlight other bloggers who are generating insightful content.  If you are sitting there reading this and thinking, Hey! He’s talking about me.  Contact me and I will add you to my reblog list.  I am fortunate to have great readership here at QE, and if my success can propel others, it’s a small way for me to give back.

Don't Know what to Blog

I have also decided to allow for reader contributions on Fridays.  This was a suggestion made to me by P.A. Kramer.  The more I thought about it, the more I loved the concept.  This is a great way for bloggers to take advantage of my readership and get some eyes on both their content and their blog pages.  Again, my goal has always been to bring like-minded people together.

I will only post submissions that are centered around some aspect of writing. Ideally, the content should be around 700-1000 words in length.  If images are included, they must be non-copyrighted images (I can generate images if needed).  Contact me if you have a proposal.

Saturday: Re-post day.  Recycling previous posts will help people new to the site or to WordPress connect with my older content.  It also helps me.  It allows me to continuously edit, improve, and add links to my archived material.  I learn a lot from my discussions with all of you, my work as an editor, and my labors as a writer.  I want to be sure my past posts reflect newfound knowledge and continue to be relevant.

That’s the new schedule.  Let’s see if this one sticks or not.  Until we cross quills again, keep reading, keep writing, and as always—stay sharp!

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Back to the Routine (800+ Followers!)

matthew8-1Hurricane Matthew—what a pain in the butt.  Not only did we (wife, baby, cat) evacuate to a different state, but to add to the stress, my sister-in-law was honeymooning on a cruise ship off the coast of Florida during this craziness (she made it home unscathed).

Fortunately, there was no major damage here at my house.  We arrived at 4 a.m. to find lots of downed trees, a few missing shingles, but nothing of considerable note.  The area directly around me wasn’t as lucky so I’m feeling very fortunate right now.  The Berkeley Observer compiled some photos of the damage here in my region.  The photo I placed of the toppled sign, taken by Cameron Scott, is where Heather and I get our sushi.  I checked and the sushi place survived (thank the sushi gods!).

crying boy_universe.jpgNow that I am back home in the comfort of my writing cave/study, I wanted to take a day to get my feet planted with all of you before diving back into the daily routine.  I’m very happy to be home, have a home still, and get back to the grind.

*Corey takes a cleansing breath*

First off, thanks for all of the kind words and emails.  I have a backlog of emails, comments, and posts to reply to.  I will be doing this over the next couple days.  Obviously, this weather event chucked a wrench into the gears of my daily posting goals.  I will note (for my own sanity), that it took an act of God to push me off the rails.

thanksSecondly, I logged in today to find I had passed the 800 follower mark.  Holy smokes!  Talk about a welcome home present from the blogoverse.  Needless to say, I’m humbled by the support I have found here and very thankful.  It’s nice to know so many others are interested in learning about the dark arts of writing and editing.    It’s thrilling to have found this amazing community, and I’m excited to have reached this point.

Thirdly, I know I mentioned last post I would be recycling older posts during this blackout period.  Truth be told, I simply didn’t have the means, ability, or time to get this done.  I do apologize for the brief lapse in posting.

donate.jpgLastly, for those of you who are suffering from the aftermath of the storm, my thoughts are with you.  I’ll be heading out to donate diapers and food to our local relief organizations.  If you are local, I absolutely encourage you to do the same.

Also, if you are in the Charleston SC area and need a helping hand, shoot me an email via my contact page, and I’ll see what I can do.

For the purpose of the blog, I’m putting the storm in the rear-view and moving forward.  As of tomorrow, I’ll be back on track with the daily posting schedule (unless the gods intervene again).  Until then, keep reading, keep writing, and as always – stay sharp!

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A Writing Dad: Managing the Madness

Discussing Fatherhood.jpgSince I started doing this blog, I’ve been getting emails/messages from friends (new and old ones).  Some of the messages are really encouraging, and others are laced with hidden sarcasm.  Many of these exchanges, while on the surface are kind, hide this sentiment, “Oh…you’re writing a book, editing, and doing a daily blog.  Dad life must REALLY be busy.” *insert sarcastic eye roll*

Now, I know my friends and family love me.  I also know they aren’t intentionally trying to bust my proverbial balls.  But the truth is, dad life is busy.  Those of you who are parents (past or present) know it to be true.  So to save myself from explaining my process over and over again, I thought I would compile it here.

To preface this, it should be noted I am a stay-at-home dad.  My wife Heather is in the military and works as a Navy Nuclear Engineer.  She wakes up before Thor does , and usually gets home as he goes to bed (not easy for her at all).  Like I said, I’m a real deal stay-at-home dad.

So here’s an average day.

baby thor sleeping.jpg

Thor – my alarm clock.

I get up at six or seven.  Thor is my alarm clock. During the day, Thor takes three naps.  He’s still only eight months old so he is supposed to get around 3.5 hours of nap time a day.  This gives me three blocks of time to actually accomplish tasks like: write blog posts, editing, work on my own novel, clean bottles, scoop cat litter, laundry, engage in battle with the growing forces of dirt, eat, sit down on the couch and stare up at the ceiling fan.

Heather usually gets home around 7:30 pm.  We spend time together until she crashes out at around 9pm -that’s when I start working in earnest.  I usually go to bed around 1-2 am.

If you think about it in these terms, I have roughly 8.5 hours to accomplish everything I need to accomplish.  It’s comparably to a normal working day.  It’s just that around half of that time is split between everyday life tasks.  Also, if Thor is throwing lightning bolts and beating on his anvil (not napping well), time is even shorter.

The Workday.jpgI think what makes it seem like I have a lot of time is the fact I use all of it.  I’ve read studies where people who have normal 9-5 jobs only spend a fraction of that time doing actual work.  I know from my own experience in past jobs that I have easily wasted away days accomplishing little to nothing.  I would get one “big” thing done and say, “That made this day productive.”

Now I work for myself.  I also believe in what I do with a full heart.  When your passion aligns with you work, amazing things start to happen.  You find ways to weave those passions into your “free” time.  Work becomes habit, because it’s no longer a dreadful task to accomplish.

For example, I read to Thor everyday.  We don’t watch tv.  I don’t just leave him sitting in a playpen drooling on toys and plotting my demise.  I read to him.  We read about everything.  He has probably listened to me read more books on writing than most people have ever read.  We both benefit from this.

baby thor on the computer.jpg

Thor helps with the blog.

I blog everyday.  I blog about writing.  Even this “escape” guides me closer to my goals and aligns with the craft.

I talk about writing everyday.  Many of my friends are writers.  We talk about my projects, their projects, doubts, hopes, life, and everything in-between.  When my wife gets home she asks me how the book is coming along and what is happening in the blogospace.

So yes, I do have time as a stay-at-home dad.  However, it’s time I carve out with my own two hands.  I had to cut away the frivolous little things, and make space for the big things.  And honestly, it was easy.  This is the important takeaway.  When you key into the one thing that truly makes you tick – it should be fulfilling to build your life around it.

Thor and I reading.jpg

Thor and I analyzing literature (picture book).

Are some days harder than others?  Heck yeah.  Do I have doubts?  Sure.  Do I sit down and have to punch the voices in my head who say, “You are wasting your time with this Corey.  Writing isn’t a real job Corey.” Yep.  My knuckles are always bleeding.  But deep down I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.  That’s a good feeling.

More of a rant than a writing tip today.  But honestly, the more time you dedicate to the craft (whatever your chosen one is), the more the muse will sing for you.  Time dedicated to the craft of writing offers you many escapes.  There is much fulfillment in the act of writing, studying the craft, and reading other authors’ works.

Until tomorrow, keep reading, keep writing, and as always – stay sharp!

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