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?