Friday, April 8, 2011
I don't think I know a single person that has time anymore. Actually, I take that back. Babies have all the time in the world.
But for the rest of us - especially moms - it's a challenge fitting anything extra between cooking, sleeping, driving, taking care of the kids, helping them with homework, working, taking care of everyone else, cleaning, sneaking in a shower and applying make-up, opening the mail, and checking the weather.
Now my family is super important to me. I love giving them my time.
Art is also important. I go through withdrawal symptoms if I don't do it often.
My problem lies in having a third obsession - a very awesome one. Writing. I love it. It loves me. It makes me happy, just like my family, my friends, and art do. It's just plain fun.
So how on earth is a normal mom to find time to write on a regular basis?
I started asking authors at writers conferences. I ended up with some creative, interesting, painful, and downright scary answers:
- One gave up TV.
- Another called her family in and informed them that writing was now her #1 priority. (I don't recommend this. You'll want someone still there to dedicate your book to when it's published.)
- Another doesn't sleep. And another starts writing at 9:00 p.m. and ends sometime in the middle of the night when her eyelids no longer stay open without toothpick props. (I don't recommend this either.)
- And another gets up at 5:00 a.m., writes to 7:00 a.m., then gets her children ready for school, then gets herself off to school where she teaches all day.
I'm sure you get the picture. It isn't always easy.
Me? Well, I didn't go that far. When my last child was born, I began writing my first novel. I didn't have a schedule - just wrote whenever I could. My goal, newborn and all, was to write for 15 minutes a day. Many days my 15 minutes went quite a bit longer. It was a great surprise when I actually had pages accumulating by the end of the week.
Over the years, my writing goals have changed many times, all custom-suited to my current circumstances. I've had set times, set word counts, set days of the week. I've even tried some kinda drastic things.
Two years ago I gave up most TV (I'm not that good.) And voila, I found more time.
Last year during NaNoWriMo, I tried the 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. thingy. Just for a month. Guess what? There were no interruptions. AT ALL. It was nuts. I got so much done. I also walked around with huge dark circles under my eyes. But, by golly, at the end of November, I had a 50,000 word manuscript, all written in one month (still in need of many, many revisions.) But it felt pretty darn good!
So, long story short, there are all kinds of ways to find time to write - IF you really want to.
Now I'd love to hear how other real people with real lives find their time.
How and when do you do it?