Give Me a (Writing) Break!

The phone is ringing, your spouse needs you, your child lost her best jacket. The house is a mess and the mail is piling up and you’re out of cat food. Your brother needs help moving and your cousin needs fifty bucks. Don’t forget to pick up the dry cleaning and call your mother on your way to the office.  (And this is all before 8:00 am.)

When will you have time to write today?

It’s frustrating when you start out with good intentions and watch them to fall to pieces. The day before, you made an agreement with yourself to write 1,000 words before lunchtime. Then the day comes full of things you did not expect.  By the time you sit down to write, you are too exhausted. It’s time for bed.  So you fall in and lay there feeling guilty for not writing again today.

This has happened to me… for YEARS.  I’ve been trying to write in my spare time all my adult life.  When my children were young, my time was spent between them and a full-time job, and taking care of a house.  My spouse (now -ex) was not supportive of my writing, so it went on the back-burner. That was okay, because my children needed my non-working time, and I didn’t mind the sacrifice.

Fast forward several years and my children are nearly grown and I have much more time to write.  I finished the novel I had in my head for years, I’ve had some success at freelancing and copy-writing, and I have many more projects ahead.

I know what it’s like to try to find time to write when you have other obligations and life roles outside of writing.  I know how frustrating it is when things don’t go according to plan.  When I started this website, I couldn’t get it to work right for the first three days- which were days I had planned solely for building the site and time that I had taken off from other things. First I got angry, then I wanted to cry.  Emotions are heavy when it comes to our projects, aren’t they?  Finally, it started working and I was able to rock out a few posts before my time allotment was up.

With a full to-do list, how do you squeeze in writing time? Actually, I’d really like to know, because it’s a learning process for all of us. There are things we continually experiment with in order to manipulate our time for writing.writing-laptop-cafe

Here are a few things you can try:

  • Put writing on your schedule like an appointment and don’t miss it. Just 30 minutes a day can put a dent in your projects.
  • Take your journal, laptop or other device with you to write notes or ideas during the kids basketball practice or while waiting for your car to be fixed.
  • Join a local writing group where you will find accountability and hopefully, encouragement.
  • Ask your partner, family, or friends to be supportive of your endeavors, and let them know you need some time each day for your passion.
  • Plan a writing retreat, where you can get away from everyone and everything and just write. If you can’t afford a full-out trip, maybe you can rent a hotel room for a weekend.
  • If you work a job outside the home, try taking a day off of to wander to a park or a cafe to write as much as you can. This way, you can tackle the home stuff later.

Getting away from your regular home environment keeps you from seeing piles of laundry or dishes to be done.  They will always be there anyway, so do yourself a favor and Go Write!

Keep Crushing Blocks,

~Lynn

P.S. What do you do to squeeze time into your day for writing?

 

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