Finding the time to write is hard. I sometimes wish that I had an actual writing workplace, where I would go into an office with my totally-not-for-yoga pants and lemon water, sit down at a giant wooden writing desk, and type away at my novel for eight glorious uninterrupted hours. There would be a cat library where I would go when I needed kitty advice, and my computer would never bog down and would automatically auto-save to at least three different locations. Also, there would be free fountain pens, and fantastical daydream corners filled with inspirational pin-boards. I think I might just be describing my heaven…
But, since I’m not dead yet, I guess I have to live in reality, and reality kinda sucks. I remember once upon a time (last year) I thought I would have plenty of time to write once I became a stay-at-home mom. All those hours spent stuck at work would be mine! All mine! And I could spend that time doing all the things! Reading! Writing! Arithma—yeah, no. But in good ol’ reality, all that work time suddenly became something else. Living time, I suppose. Time I could spend with my husband and daughter. Time to do dishes and laundry and make food stuffs. Living time.
And all that living time, enjoyable as it is, doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing. I feel like if I try and write while my husband’s at work, then I end up leaving my daughter with the TV babysitter. But if I wait until he gets home, then I leave him with the Netflix babysitter. Even now, my dog has been whining at me and bringing me every dog toy in the house in hopes of coaxing me away from my cozy desk.There’s just no good option.
So where does that leave me? Well, so far my grand ideas include:
1) Getting up earlier – Early bird, blah blah, insert cliché saying here. Truth is, if you can be the first person up in your life, you’ll find a wonderful, magical land called Solitude (nd it’s not the capital of Skyrim). The hard part is actually doing it. And then not squandering it away by drinking tea in the garden with the sparrows (a.k.a. watching YouTube videos all morning). Which leads me to…
2) Planning to write – This boils down to not waiting for that fickle muse to grab you by the hair and force you to write. I wish that every time I wrote something it was this great inspired message from the heavens, but sometimes you just sit down and write crap, then edit the hell out of it. Developing the habit of writing is enough for now.
3) Writing when the Muse does strike – To go against everything I just said, sometimes I’m so overwhelmed by a writing idea that I really can’t think well about anything else. And when I ignore those urges, either the idea flutters on by, or it falls flat when I try to attempt it later. I don’t see anything wrong with popping in on the computer to write a quick paragraph, or even handwriting some notes for later (writers still use real paper, right?). Just remember to let the dog back in, don’t leave the baby in the bath, etc.
4) Making writing a priority – This is something that I am getting closer to every day. The more important that writing becomes in my life, the more time I think about doing it, and, like magic, the more time I actually spend doing it. Since deciding to take myself seriously as a “writer,” I’ve started this blog, submitted things for publication, and organized my WIP ‘novels’ into things that might actually turn into novels. And it didn’t take that long at all for all this to fall into place. I just had to start thinking of myself as a writer.
Do you have any tips on squeezing some extra words out of the day? Let me know in the comments! And Happy Writing!