Writing this week’s post at a few minutes to five o’clock in the afternoon, I’m once again reminded of that line from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I’ve written here before about how I continue to struggle with self-scheduling, and continue to try new things, get caught up, then get behind again. I whined about the summer and my kids being home causing too many distractions and yadda yadda yadda. But here I am again, buried under, all but overwhelmed, behind or getting behind on multiple projects, and so what’s a poor writer/editor/consultant to do?

First: Prioritize.

What has to be done today? Do that first.

Second: Who’s complaining loudest?

The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

Third: What pays the most?

After all, I am trying to make a living out here.

Fourth: Every damn thing else.

So far today I have finished only what had to be done today, and will be staying up late to get at least to the second group, and take a stab at the third.

Tomorrow is all about the second and third groups.

By Thursday, I hope to be well under way on Group Three, but then there’s an appointment in the middle of the morning that will screw me up at least a little.

And other excuses.

Anyway, that’s the best I can do for Fantasy Author’s Handbook this Tuesday. I owe you some extra special awesomeness next week.


—Philip Athans

About Philip Athans

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, ( is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
This entry was posted in Books, creative team, how to write fiction, Publishing Business, Science Fiction & Fantasy Novels, SF and Fantasy Authors, Writing, writing advice, writing horror, Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Love it. As grad student, balancing my work has been crazy hard. I actually just wrote a post about that too.
    Love reading it from you more though. 🙂

  2. lidy says:

    I feel your pain. Wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about how I needed to reschedule my writing schedule. It’s hard balancing work, family and writing. But like you said, the first thing to do is prioritize.

  3. Pingback: MY 3.85-HOUR WORK DAY | Fantasy Author's Handbook

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