What this has done, essentially, is make life easier for me to manage. I know that on Tuesday and Thursday next week I don't really need to go online. I can avoid social media if I'm running behind time to write something. That's not my intention, of course, because I enjoy talking to people online, but I know that in order to stick to my professional obligation I no longer have a need to ensure I am sitting at my laptop at whatever crazy hour it happens to be.
This will be further put into practice when I write Sunday's article for my website a day in advance, using notes I drew up earlier in the week. With the article written, I merely need to ensure I share the link to it. That's the greatest obligation I have, and it doesn't necessarily require me to access my website to do so.
Pre-scheduling posts allows me to do other things during the day when I migh find myself overwhelmed with work. This week, for instance has been especially busy. My three days off work were spent packing boxes and moving books and shelves and a bed downstairs. It's been a lot of work, and it's meant I couldn't just sit at my laptop writing for a while, not until everything was done. As it is, I spent extra time at my desk on Thursday night to ensure that I could write my Friday Flash story in advance, and schedule next Thursday's poem on ParagraVerse while I was doing so.
While I won't always have the time to write several pieces in advance - especially not when I have books to write - it does help to know that there are plenty of things I can do to help make life that little bit easier for myself. When I'm minding my niece, I can ensure that something is going online without my needing to sit at the laptop to do it. When I have work, I can publish something at the same time that I'm serving a customer, without having to go near my blog. If I eventually get to travel, I can schedule poems and stories and blog posts to go live every morning so I can see the sights and enjoy the time away from the computer.
I know I go on and on about scheduling posts - it's not exactly a breakthrough - but these past couple of weeks have been made easier by having something on automation. It's meant that I can move bedroom without hassle. It's meant I could maintain an online presence during the busiest Christmas period I've experienced since I started working in the bookshop over six years ago. I've been able to relax a bit more, get out of bed when it suits me, talk to my family, have breakfast when I wake up (and not after I've written a short story), and make plans with friends without running risk of falling behind on my writing.
Life hasn't slowed down for me in a long while. The Christmas period was busy in work, and while I did manage to secure three days off this week, they weren't days off doing anything. They've been exhausting, especially when actually transferring the bookshelves from the attic to the box room. That was the worst part, but also the part that said that the box room was now my bedroom. This was before the bed was even moved down, and my laptop was still plugged in in the attic when it was all happening. But it was the books that made it all clear. I wasn't just sleeping in this room by nightfall. It was my room, with my books, and they're what make all the difference for me.
I'll continue to write a few posts at a time. It's not just good sense, it's also the most helpful thing I can do for myself. I need to establish a rhythm of writing and scheduling a week's posts in advance over a couple of days, and using the rest of the time to write books and live the rest of my life. I need time to research for agents and publishers and a Masters degree and magazines, and I can't find that time if I'm constantly looking at the clock considering how much longer I can do something before I have to write the day's piece to be published.
I know I'm not a big name writer, but that doesn't mean I haven't learned a thing or two about how to manage my time when things get really busy. Take it from me: it's much easier to plan things in advance and leave your blog to do the work than it is to try chase up your own work every day. It's made all the difference for me.