Balancing School, Work, & Writing

Time Management

Finding a balance between everything in your life is hard. Devoting enough time to this thing or that thing can sometimes seem impossible, how do you decide what gets precedent and what gets put on the back burner? How do you decide which task is more important? Which one to focus on? Time management, I have learned, is key.

When you’re given a list of tasks or duties, you need to decide which ones to focus on or prioritize. For me, I have school, work, and writing (squeeze a little housework and sleeping in there too). Of the three, the two that take precedent are school and work; and out of those two: school.

School has to be my top priority because I need to finish my education in order to meet my future career goals. Work has to remain a priority because a) it’s work; and b) I need work to pay for school. Basic human needs and functions come next, like sleeping and eating.

Wouldn’t we save so much time in life if we didn’t need to sleep? I would actually have time to write regularly if we didn’t need sleep. When you get right into the middle of something and the flow is going really well, but you’re eyes are closing and you can feel your brain slowing down… I find sleeping to be mildly inconvenient (but so, so nice).

It is unfortunate and disappointing that at this moment in my life writing has to be put on the back burner a lot. I try to squeeze in time whenever I can, but find it hard sometimes when I have a looming list of things to get done for school.

This is where the time management I mentioned before comes in.

When I have a lot to do, the first thing I do is write everything down. I always write due dates and important dates down in my agenda (as well as my writing schedule), but when I have SO MUCH to do, I also just like to make a list of everything that needs to be done.

From here I rearrange the list so the most important task is at the top (this is usually whatever assignment is due first), all the way to the bottom where the things that can wait go. This allows me to see how much time I have for each task. For instance, if I have an assignment due tomorrow and a writing post going up next Sunday, I’m going to make sure the assignment is done first. I’d rather be doing the writing post, but unfortunately the assignment needs to be done.

This can make things difficult when I have a list of assignments as long as my arm to get done and another list of writing posts as long as my other to also get done (which is why writing down when you need things done by is key). Going forward over the next several weeks I will really be testing myself to see how my time management is.

Can I keep on top of all my schoolwork? Probably. Can I keep on top of my regular work? I have no choice. Can I keep on top of my writing? Hopefully. And I can’t wait for the day where this list is shrunk down to my writing because my regular work and the answer being Yes, Absolutely.

Do you have any time management tips for your fellow writers? Do you remove all distractions? Do you set aside dedicated amounts of time to work on certain things? Do you set certain goals for yourself to help you achieve things? Or do you just wing it and hope for the best?

Let me know and hopefully we can help each other out!

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Names of the Week

Benji
Male
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nicknames: Ben
Pronunciation: Ben-G
Origin: England
Meaning: From Benjamin
Well-Known Benjis : Benji Applebaum (Pitch Perfect), Benji Dunn (Mission Impossible), Benji Healy (American Gothic), Benji Madden (Musician), Benji Aflalo (Actor and Writer)

Claudia
Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nicknames: N/A
Pronunciation: Claw-dee-uh
Origin: Latin-America
Meaning: Lame
Well-Known Claudias : Claudia Tapper (The Tapper Twins, Geoff Rodkey), Claudia Arlex (Incarceron and Sapphique, Catherine Fisher), Claudia da Forti (A Knight of the White Cross, G.A. Henty), Claudia Parr (Baby Proof, Emily Griffen), Claudia Salinger (Party of Five), Claudia Kishi (The Babysitters Club)

Delilah
Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nicknames: Lila; Lilah
Pronunciation: Duh-lie- luh
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: Delight
Well-Known Delilahs: Delilah Hannaford (Fixing Delilah, Sarah Ockler), Delilah Bard (Shades of Magic, V.E. Schwab), Delilah S. Dawson (Novelist), Delilah Beasley (Newspaper Columnist)

Forrest
Male
Alternate Spelling: Forest
Pronunciation: For- ess – teh
Origin: England
Meaning: Of the Woods; Dweller near the woods
Well-Known Forrests : Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump, Winston Groom), Forrest Kline (Musician), Forrest Bird (Inventor), Forrest Tucker (Actor)

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Names of the Week

Clemence
Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nickname: Clem
Pronunciation: Clay-mahns OR cleh-mence
Origin: France
Meaning: Forgiveness
Well-Known Clemences: Clemence Posey (Actress), Clemence Dane (Pen Name for Novelist, Winifred Aston), Clemence Annie Housman (Novelist), Clemence Royer (French Scholar), Clemence Grimal (Snowboarder)

Dominique
Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nickname: Dom; Niki
Pronunciation: Dom-in-eek
Origin: France
Meaning: Of God; Female Variation of Dominic\
Well-Known Dominiques: Dominique Weasley (Harry Potter), Dominique Francon (The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand), Dominique de Lombre (The Court of the Stone Children, Eleanor Cameron), Dominique Deval (James Bond: Thunderball), Dominique Deveratux (Dynasty)

Eleanor
Female
Alternate Spelling: Elinor; Elonor; Elenor
Nickname: Ellie; Nell
Pronunciation: Ell-ih-nor
Origin: France
Meaning: Shining Light
Well-Known Eleanors: Eleanor Douglas (Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell), Eleanor Arroway (Contact, Carl Sagan), Eleanor “Nell” Crain (The Haunting of Hill House), Eleanor “Ellie” Nash (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Eleanor Bishop (Heroes), Eleanor Henstrige (The Royals), Eleanor Porter (Novelist)

Lucien
Male
Alternate Spelling: Lucian
Nickname: Luc (Pronounced Luke)
Pronunciation: Loo-see-en OR Loo-she-en
Origin: France
Meaning: Light
Well-Known Luciens: Lucien (The Supernaturalists, Eoin Colfer), Lucien Vanserra (A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas), Lucien Dubenko (ER), Lucien Castle (The Originals), Lucian Graymark (Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare), Lucian Gregory (The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton), Lucian Kiggs (Seraphina, Rachel Hartman)

Benedict
Male
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nickname: Ben
Pronunciation: Ben-ih-dict
Origin: Latin
Meaning: Blessed
Well-Known Benedicts: Benedict of Amber (Chronicles of Amber, Roger Zelazny), Benedict Copeland (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers), Benedict Cumberbatch (Actor)

 

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Featured Author: Eric Litwin

eric litwin

Eric Litwin was born in 1966 in New York City.

Know as Mr. Eric, Litwin not only writes books, but he also plays several instruments, including the guitar and harmonica. He combines all of these things to create his best selling children’s books.

pete the cat

Among these books are the New York Times best sellers, Pete the Cat. Litwin is responsible for the first four books in the series and created some seriously groovy tunes to go with them.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

I’m currently working towards my degree in Early Childhood Education so I have read Mr. Litwins books A LOT. Some kids books you get sick of reading over and over, but these ones are honestly entertaining. Maybe it’s the fact there’s music involved too?

Whatever it is, he’s clearly doing something right because his books have sold over 13 million copies worldwide. He is also a well-respected voice for interactive literacy and music – two things proven to work well together, especially for children’s learning.

If you have children, or work with children, I highly recommend Eric Litwin’s, Pete the Cat, books. They are highly entertaining for children and not quite as repetitive as “Baby Shark”.

 

Check out Mr. Litwin’s website for more information!

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Names of the Week

Aria

Female

Alternate Spelling: Arya (pronunciation may vary with this spelling)
Pronunciation: Are-ee-ah

Origin: Italian
Meaning: song; melody

Well-Known Arias: Aria Montgomery (Pretty Little Liars, Author), Aria (Under the Never Sky, Veronica Rossi), Aria Torres (Grey’s Anatomy), Aria Johnson (Singer), Aria Wallace (Actress)
Fabian
Male
Alternate Spelling: Fabien
Pronunciation: Fab-ee-ann OR Fab-ee-awn

Origin: Latin
Meaning: Bean Grower

Well-Known Fabians: Fabian (Twelfth Night, Shakespeare), Fabian Prewett (Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling), Fabian Rutter (House of Anubis, Author), Fabian Cancellara (Cyclist), Fabian Marco Johnson (Soccer Player)
Giovanna
Female
Alternate Spelling: Giovana
Pronunciation: joh-van-ah OR jee-oh-van-ah
Origin: Italian

Meaning: The Lord is Gracious
Well-Known Giovannas: Giovanna Fletcher (Author), Giovanna Ralli (Actress), Giovanna Trillini (Olympic Fencer), Giovanna Amati (Racing Driver), Giovanna Marini (Singer)

 

Lucia
Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Pronunciation: loo-see-ah OR loo-sha
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Light
Well-Known Lucias: Lucia Honeychurch (A Room With a View, Author), Lucia Damora (Falling Kingdoms, Morgan Rhodes), Lucia Lucas (Mapp and Lucia Series, E.F. Benson), Lucía Etxebarríe (Novelist), Lucia Joyce (Daughter of Author, James Joyce)

January 2019 Book Releases

January

I love checking out what new books are going to be coming out each month and this month there are a ton! I only listed a few here, but there are so many good books coming out and I can’t wait to read each of them!

In Paris with You

 

In Paris With You, Clementine Beauvais

After so many years apart; after it all fell apart last time, is it possible to regain a love once thought lost? That is exactly the question that will be answered for Eugene and Tatiana after they meet each other again in Paris.

Release Date: January 8th

Preorder In Paris With You on Amazon


The Au Pair, Emma Rous

Mystery surrounds Seraphine’s family. After her mother’s death, following the birth of Seraphine and her twin brother, something changed. Something strange happened, but it will not be discovered until Seraphine is an adult and finds a photograph of her mother on the day the twins were born… but she’s only holding one baby?

Release Date: January 8th

Preorder The Au Pair on Amazon

Follow Emma Rous on Twitter


Two Can Keep a Secret, Karen M. McManus

Echo Ridge is a town full of secrets, and secrets can get you killed. Five years before Ellery moved to Echo Ridge, a girl went missing. Now she’s living with her grandmother, and another girl is gone. What is happening in this town and what is everyone hiding?

Release Date: January 8th

Preorder Two Can Keep a Secret on Amazon

Follow Karen M. McManus on Twitter


The Dreamers, Karen Thompson Walker

New York Times best selling author, Karen Thompson Walker, has written a book sure to keep you turning the pages for more. The Dreamers takes place in a small town where people are trying to figure out why their loved ones are falling asleep and not waking up. It’s not a coma, they’re simply asleep, and they’re dreaming.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder The Dreamers on Amazon

Follow Karen Thompson Walker on Twitter


Famous in a Small Town, Emma Mills

A small town, a girl with the perfect life, and the mysterious new boy next door are what awaits in Emma Mill’s upcoming novel.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder Famous in a Small Town on Amazon

Follow Emma Mills on Twitter


Echo NorthEcho North, Joanna Ruth Meyer

Echo believed all was lost when her father went missing. However, when he turns up six months later, Echo has no idea of the adventure she is about to embark on. She makes a deal with a talking wolf – to live with him for a year –  but doesn’t realize just what she is getting into. Soon, Echo will discover there is more to the wolf than meets the eye and she must solve the mystery before it is too late.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder Echo North on Amazon

Follow Joanna Ruth Meyer on Twitter


Stain, A.G. Howard

Stain wasn’t always known as Stain. Stain used to be Lyra, a princess banished from her kingdom and whose memory was wiped by the witch who saved her. Now though, Lyra must remember who she is in order to save her kingdom and prove that she is worthy of her title as princess.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder Stain on Amazon

Check out A.G. Howard’s Website


Our Year of Maybe, Rachel Lynn Solomon

Sophie and Peter have been best friends for as long as she can remember, and Sophie honestly doesn’t know who she is without Peter in her life. So when she learns Peter needs a kidney transplant and that she can give him one, there’s no question. But things don’t go exactly as planned and the two friends drift along, torn between what they think they should feel and what they really feel. Soon they’ll face something neither of them expected and determine if it’s all really worth it afterall.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder Our Year of Maybe on Amazon

Follow Rachel Lynn Solomon on Twitter


Even if I FallEven if I Fall, Abigail Johnson

When Jason confessed to the murder of his best friend, his little sister Brooke, lost everything. Now, with her family broken and seemingly beyond repair, and no one to talk to, Brooke finds solace in the most unexpected place – the younger brother of the boy her brother murdered. But not everything is as it seems and soon Brooke will need to choose between her new friend and her family.

Release Date: January 22nd

Preorder Even if I Fall on Amazon

Follow Abigail Johnson on Twitter


Only a Breath Apart, Katie McGarry

Scarlett and Jesse both have demons to face and secrets to keep. When they were children they were best friends, but that all changed when they started high school. Now the only way to escape this curse that is trying to consume them both is to rely on each other, but will they be able to? Or will it all go horribly wrong?

Release Date: January 22nd

Preorder Only a Breath Apart on Amazon

Follow Katie McGarry on Twitter


Death Prefers Blondes, Caleb Roehrig

Margo seems to have the perfect life: she’s a young heiress whose only job is avoiding paparazzi. However, Margo has a secret – at night she puts on a mask and robs high stakes locations. But will one job prove to be too much? Has Margo’s double life finally come unravelled? She will do everything she can to complete this one last job before turning it in, but will she and her companions all make it out?

Release Date: January 29th

Preorder Death Prefers Blondes on Amazon

Follow Caleb Roehrig on Twitter


I’m definitely going to be making quite a few trips to Chapters this month, how about you? See anything you want to pick up?

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What’s Coming in 2019?

2019

What’s coming in 2019?

That’s a question I asked myself a lot leading up to the new year. 2018 was pretty crazy with lots of ups and downs.

I went back to school for the first time in five years and successfully completed my first year working towards my degree in Early Childhood Education. I worked basically non-stop.

My nephew was born; I attended Fan Expo again; I got to see Canada’s Gold Winning Olympic Figure Skating Team skate in person! And my laptop broke which had me doing a mad scramble to get it fixed while also borrowing a computer to complete my online assignment on time. Basically, 2018 was non-stop.

However, the one thing I did not get too much of this past year was writing. Between school, work, and family, writing in 2018 really got pushed to the wayside. I barely picked up my novel; fanfiction became a thing I would read on break, but did absolutely no writing of myself; and this blog because something I would look at, desperately wanting to work on, but having no time.

That being said, all throughout December I was able to prep and start writing so I would be ready for when 2019 arrived. And it is here, it is 2019, a New Year, and I am excited for all the things to come!

I have lots of things I’ve been working on; some new ideas, and continuing some old, and I’m excited to share all of them with you.

So thank you to everyone who has stuck with me so far! I hope you’re as excited as I am for what is to come.

I will be back tomorrow morning with a new post and in the meantime, I hope you all had a very Happy New Year!

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