Wednesday, October 5, 2022

#ISWG: Finding Time to Write


Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash

I’m having a hard time figuring out what to write this month.

I read so widely, that it’s hard for me to pick a genre for this month’s question.

But I’ve had a win lately. After years of struggling to find time to write, especially since I returned to work full-time, I found a solution.

1.  I write in the mornings before work. I set the bar really low for myself. I try to get up a half hour earlier than normal. It's been working. I don’t write every day, but I write most days.

2.  For my morning writing sessions, I handwrite. I draft and brainstorm ideas in a notebook. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I’m finished with the rough draft and move on to editing, but I’m thinking about printing off my chapters and editing in longhand as well.

    Why longhand? I find it hard to add any more computer time to my day. And I can write a couple pages long-hand in 15 minutes, but I’m not able to do that typing. I also find I feel more willing to experiment when I can cross something off. Typing is different. It feels permanent and harder for me to change—or take risks.

3.  On the weekends, I input whatever I wrote during the week into my computer. I do some light editing, but I’m not going crazy since it’s a rough draft.

4.  Another thing I’m trying, since I’ve set aside too many writing projects lately, is that I’m keeping this one a secret. I haven’t even talked to my family about it, which is unusual for me. I have learned that both criticism and praise can kill my momentum.

5.  I am gentle with myself. Some days I’m too tired to write. Some days the words just don’t come, and I write notes or read a book instead. That’s okay. The road to creating anything, especially writing, is never straight.

Aside from actually getting some writing done, a few of the fringe benefits:

1.  I’m happier. I have a job that’s a giving type job and a family. It’s easy for me to feel burnt out sometimes. But getting even 15 minutes to jot down part of a scene or some ideas makes me feel like I still have a life outside of being a teacher and a mom.

2.  No more excuses. I’d become really good at coming up with reasons for why I wasn't writing regularly. Now I feel so empowered. I can do this—even if it’s just a few pages at a time.

    Yes, I’m still battling insecurities. My feelings about this project go up and down from day to day or minute by minute. Like always.

    But I finally feel like a real writer again. And that, my friends, is priceless.

    What about you? How do you find time to write in your busy schedule (because we’re all juggling a million things)?

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