Set Priorities–Then Keep Them

When I was younger, I always envisioned I’d go to a job from 8 to 5, but once I was home for the evening or weekend, I’d be in non-work mode. I’d have endless hours to fill with frivolity.


Oh, how wrong I was.

Writing is the dust of career paths. It is always there, always waiting for you to work on it. And even when you spend hours hammering away at the keys, you will always have more work to do. It’s never done. There is always another revision, another copyedit, or another idea waiting to be explored. And when you aren’t writing your own words, there are stacks of stories waiting to be read, manuscripts to beta, and research to be done.

But unlike, dust, that’s a good thing. I love writing, and I hope the plot bunnies keep racing out of my head, demanding attention. I hope I never run out of books to read.

But there is the challenge of how to maintain a life and family while giving your writing the time it deserves. and this is one issue I struggle with constantly. My best advice is to carve out time for writing, time for family, and time for yourself (this is when you’re going to read books, watch TV, or take a long bath).

I write during the day when my husband is working and the kids are at school. Once the kids come home from school and until they go to bed it’s family time, then after their bed time it’s is my time to relax. It seems to work on most days, unless there is a looming deadline, then things get a little more hectic. We eat a lot more cereal and enough dog hair collects in the corners that we could assemble another dog.


I think the most important thing is to prioritize. Make sure the most important tasks always get done first. For example, I have launch correspondence, and a revision to work on. Right now, the revision is the most important, so I make sure my writing goal is complete for the day before I work on launch emails (or Twitter). It’s not always easy, but if I can keep one or two items as top priority, than the mounting work isn’t so daunting.

So, dear reader, what are your daily priorities?

Author: Amy Reichert

Amy E. Reichert is the author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, July 21 2015), about food, love, and second chances, and where serendipity comes in the form of a delicious coconut cake. Find out more at