life: super powers not included

The Work Terminator


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As a testament to my own patheticness (um, uh, yeah, it’s a word…) only one person asked a question in response to my posts last week. If that makes me a loser as well, please don’t tell me.

So I thought I’d answer Alina’s question today. She said: I want to know how you write two blogs and a book and have a full-time job! Along the lines of “from 6 to 8 I do this…”

I can see how you’d be impressed. But, really, you too could run two blogs, write a book, and have a full-time job. And here’s how: Give up your social life.

P.S. That wasn’t a joke. Still, I love writing, so spending my free time doing it isn’t a chore. It’s like a hobby.

But Alina was looking for a detailed answer so here it is…

8 a.m. My alarm goes off, and I curse the fact that I’m unable to stop time. Sleeping four more hours would be ideal.

8:40 I finally stop pressing snooze and sit up in bed. My feet are flaring, so I grab my computer from the table beside my bed and get to work.

10:30 During a good week, my feet have usually stopped burning by now, and I can finally pee. My bladder thanks me.

10: 35 Now that I don’t feel like I’m going to explode, I eat breakfast. It’s usually an apple, a pear, and some other piece of fruit. Recently it’s been peaches, which make me all sorts of happy.

1:30 p.m. If The Man’s home, I’ll have lunch. Typically it’s either a sandwich with avocado, tomato, lettuce, sprouts, and mustard; a quesadilla; or a big salad.

5 Work’s over. (More or less. It depends on the day.) If The Man worked during the day, he gets home about now. When I’m unable to make lunch (if, say, my feet turned into fireballs), he’ll make me lunch. If I’ve already eaten, I catch up on some blogs.

6 I work on my blogs. I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on both of them, so I write each on the same day.

7 After I’ve scheduled posts for both of my blogs, I eat dinner with The Man. That is, if I had lunch around 1. If I ate at 5, I’ll either hang out with The Man (currently we’re watching Dexter) or get to writing.

9:30 I’ve written for two hours. If I ate lunch at 5 p.m., I’ll break for dinner.

10:30 I’ll either go back to writing or hang out with The Man.

I’m ashamed to say this, but…

1 a.m. Look at the clock and be amazed it’s one in the morning. Get ready for bed.

Of course, that’s a typical day. On weekends, most of the time devoted to my job is used up on writing or reading. That is, I’ll write from 11 a.m. (I’m a late sleeper, okay?) to 11 or 12 p.m. Those are the nights when The Man’s working and I have nothing better to do than work on my manuscript.

Before you tell me I’m crazy for working that much on a weekend, you should know that I often take a break in the middle to read a book or watch a movie.

And that’s my day. So, yeah, it all boils down to

human – social life = machine

Or, like, the Work Terminator.

How do you balance work, play, social commitments, blogging, and the ever-important sleep?

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21 comments

1 Amy B @ Second City Randomness { 06.06.11 at 7:09 am }

When duty calls, it seems there’s always a way to make it all work, right? My friend Mon actually commented the other day how she doesn’t know how I’m doing it right now- I’ve been nonstop since before my trip to Vegas. I thought about it and realized one thing- thank god for my Blackberry. :p

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Tracey Reply:

Well I know one way you do it all: You wake up at the crack of dawn!

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2 charlotte { 06.06.11 at 9:17 am }

Only you could make a daily schedule this funny! ” my feet have usually stopped burning by now, and I can finally pee. My bladder thanks me.” Although this was rather poignant. I still wish this would magically just get better for you!!

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Tracey Reply:

I like to mask my deep, tortured soul with humor. ;)

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3 Heather C { 06.06.11 at 10:29 am }

Wow, I now officially feel like a slug compared to you! I don’t work right now, looking to go back to something in the fall if possible, but I do volunteer once a week in the oncology unit of our Children’s Hospital and then wrangle my two boys, one of whom has developmental disabilities and CP which means a few extra responsibilities besides the typical mom stuff. I feel like I spend a good half a day just picking up the trail of crap my kids leave in their wake and then repeat all over again the next day.

What does the Man do that he works at night sometimes?

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Tracey Reply:

No way! I’m sitting on my butt all day, which I believe is the very definition of slug. Also, caring for a child with disabilities sounds like a lot of work!

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4 UrbanSolstice { 06.06.11 at 10:35 am }

This is completely unrelated to your post, but I just wanted to let you know the poster and bumper stickers arrived on Friday ^.^

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Tracey Reply:

So glad you got it! Sorry again for the delay. :)

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5 Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons { 06.06.11 at 11:11 am }

Your poor feet! And dang girl! you have your schedule down pact! Mine is rather chaotic… includes way too much procrastination, and sometimes WAY too much time on pinterest when I’m supposed to be working — so sorry for introducing that glorious time waster into your life — but its worth it… oh man its it worth it =) haha!

love ya like woah! xoxo

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Tracey Reply:

Oh, I schedule much time-wasting and procrastination in there. If you say pinterest is worth it, I’ll have to suffer with some more time-wasting. :)

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6 Clarissa { 06.06.11 at 1:53 pm }

So much work!! Hopefully some day your feet won’t flare so you can take more fun breaks during the day :) I am lucky to have a job that is mainly just 5 days a week now – I used to work a lot on the weekends! But I’m at work from 9am til 7pm usually and when work is slow I blog at work and read blogs at work. Nighttime is reserved for errands, my DVR, meetings and dinners with friends. Weekends are mainly with my version of The Boy. Life is much easier to balance today than it was a year ago – some jobs are more accomodating to life than others!

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Tracey Reply:

I so agree. I job that takes up all your life can be extra stressful.

I love how you call him The Boy. Hehe.

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7 Carly { 06.06.11 at 10:09 pm }

You call yourself Work Terminator, I call you amazing! If I had problems with my feet like you do, I can almost guarantee I would be much less productive. You rock!

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Tracey Reply:

Ha ha. Thanks, Carly. If you had my problems you’d definitely be productive to take your mind off of it! (Also, I spend many hours in front of the TV, if that makes you feel better.)

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8 Katie @ peacebeme { 06.06.11 at 10:28 pm }

I really loved this post and the glimpse into your life! I am impressed! I can totally relate to writing not feeling like work when you really enjoy it.

I do have a question…I am curious ‘how’ you write. I am working on a few fiction projects myself and I just wondered if you have the entire outline set out at the beginning or if you have a vague story idea and just go along? Just want to know more about your personal process. I feel like I do a little of both, I am trying different ways of going about it. Hope that makes sense.

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Tracey Reply:

That makes complete sense. There’s no right or wrong answer–pantser or plotter. I’m sort of in between, though changing for my next project.

For my current story, I started writing once I had the story in my head. I absolutely need to know the beginning, end, and some key scenes in the middle. When I started writing there were about six to eight scenes I could already picture in my mind. I wrote notes when I thought of ideas and kept a file of them. But I never made an outline. I just decided I had enough figured out and started writing. I liked that I wasn’t stuck with a guide, I was able to be much more creative in my opinion.

My next idea’s kind of complicated and I’m afraid I’ll make a mess of it without an outline, so I’m now trying to outline. It’s tough, because that’s not the way I naturally write, but I think it can be good for complex story lines or dual POV stories (to keep track of who will be narrating each chapter, etc). Also, when you outline a story the first draft needs less of an overhaul during revisions compared to when you wing it. Still, knowing how I like to write, I’m pretty sure I’ll let myself stray from the outline if my characters “speak” to me.

I guess it’s a matter of trying and seeing what works best for you!

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9 Alina { 06.07.11 at 1:26 pm }

Thank you for answering my question!
a) I am super impressed with you.
b) I am sorry sometimes you can’t have lunch because of your feet!
c) It’s clear you’ve found your passion. Can’t wait to read your book!

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Tracey Reply:

Thank *you* my one questioner. ;)

a. Oh, no, I’m really not that impressive. I promise.
b. Thank you.
c. I can’t wait for people to be able to read it. Fingers crossed!

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10 Nicole, RD { 06.07.11 at 1:31 pm }

You work a ton! Holy! I sometimes wish I were at the computer all day, though. As much as I love people, this week I would like nothing more than to be in front of a screen all day. Too bad that’s not going to happen…at all. Weeks like these I get maybe 30 minutes of screen time a day.

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Tracey Reply:

To be honest, no way I could do all that if I had a job that required I deal with other people all day long. (I’m not counting talking with coworkers or doing interviews.) Teaching or serving others is so tiring. I give you major credit!

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11 Baking N Books { 09.03.11 at 10:49 am }

Never feel guilty for going to bed late. I go to bed around 1 a.m and have to be up by 6 a.m. I KNOW it’s not good for me and what others do – but it’s what I’m doing right now and just doing what I can. We all go through phases…hopefully soon this one will pass ;)

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