Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Making time

Finding time to write... an age old quandry. Because it's more like making time. Let me back track. I used to get my panties in a bunch because the world wouldn't give me a window to get whatever story wouldn't leave me alone out of my head and onto paper (or screen, as it were.) Don't you people/job/chores/husband/daughter/etc.etc understand that I need to write? But here's the thing: there are a whole lot of other things that I need to do too. Things that pay the bills. Or ensure I'm not wearing the same pair of socks two days in a row. Yes, I now have a publishing contract so writing has been gloriously bumped up the priority list, but I'm still not getting paid to do it, and likely won't for a good long while. Even though I feel a strong need to write, I have to face the facts: right now, it's still just a "want to." And it sure was just a "want to" for all the years I got in a twist about the proverbial seas not parting between my life clutter and my desk.

I had to realize that it was me that needed to give something up - another "want to" in order to work on my book. Unfortunately, that thing is usually sleeping. Or eating. Or actually folding and putting laundry away once it comes out of the dryer... but hey, it's clean. It wears the same no matter where you grab it from. Now that I've signed a contract with WiDo Publishing, my other want-tos are practically nonexistent: again with the sleeping and eating, but also my vegetable garden, which has gone the way of the dinosaurs as crabgrass and dandilions have taken over the neglected plot. But getting this contract feels like a green light to let other things get put on the backburner, at least for the time being, while we get this story ready for release.

Balance is more important now than ever. We have a rule that we eat dinner together as a family whenever possible, and we don't allow cellphones or laptops in my daughter's playroom. Last week I realized I was way too in the "zone" and literally made a note to myself on a post-it as I finished writing for the day: remember to be a wife. I'm a better wife and mother when I'm given free rein to write, and I'm a better writer when I remember to take a break and pay attention to the most important things in my life.

So how do you make time? What do you give up in order to write?


  1. I love your blog.
    I can really resonate with this post. I've been trying to decide what to give up in order to write this whole summer. I love gardening, and many other wholesome things but just can't do it all. I'm praying for the first frost so I can quit canning produce with a clear conscience.

  2. Thank you Norma!! You made my day :) And your comment made me laugh. I've finally learned to live with a little mess, and I've also learned to just let it go when my time to write gets befuddled with other things. My attitude towards having/not having time to write has such a bigger impact on the big picture than whether or not I actually have time. I've got to give up something else I want - and stop expecting my responsibilities to align so that I can write without sacrifice. Some days I'm good at owning this philosophy, and others I douse it with gasoline and set it ablaze... one day at a time!!

  3. I guess I come from a place where I feel the world owes me nothing, but I owe myself to do what I can. I found I must set a realistic and sustainable ‘sacred time’ for my fiction work, or else I’m stealing from myself. I also make allowances for real life emergencies. A sick crying child or self having the flu are good reasons to encroach on writing time. Having to get a chore done? Na-ah.

  4. @Mirka - that's a great balance. I'm working on learning how to let things go that can just go without feeling like a failure. I like the notion of "stealing from myself." That puts it into a great perspective.


Ramble on, y'all.