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Help! I need to find time to write! by Rochelle Melander

I want to be writing—revising last year’s NaNo project—but I am inundated by tasks and of course, I still have to work! My son has grown an inch in every direction, and I need to buy him clothes. My 9-year-old daughter has lost weight (again), so we are back to figuring out creative ways to increase her calorie count. I have gained weight, thanks to birthing my latest book—Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). So I am walking and running and doing the plank to get rid of that extra five. Today when I went out to water the garden, I noticed that my peas had fallen down on the peppers (as you can see below). Yikes!

How do you make time to write when everything and everyone in your life needs you? Sometimes, I feel like I am rushing from task to task, never really present to any of them. I am often tempted to give up on the practices that make my spirit sing—writing, exercise, and good conversation with friends—in favor of checking items off my to-do list.

A metaphor. Remember what it is like when you first fall in love? I do. All I wanted was to spend time with that person. I’d push aside my chores, work, even sleep to have an extra hour together. Yeah, I’d get to the work eventually—but my mind and heart were consumed with trying to find time to be together. I would make time for the new love, even if that meant getting up early or skipping lunch. Here’s my thought: we need to treat writing like a new love. Don’t let a single day pass without squeezing in 20 minutes of writing time. Get up early, stay up late, write on the bus, scribble some words while you are on the treadmill—just do whatever it takes to write.

Wednesday Writing Prompt. Squeeze in 20 minutes today to write. If the project you are working on does not stir in you the passion it takes to push aside your chores, what project would? Work on that one. You may wonder, “How can I get anything done in 20 minutes?” I used to think the same thing. Then I read Cory Doctorow‘s article in Locus Online, “Writing in the Age of Distraction.” Doctorow finishes a novel a year in his twenty-minute a day writing sessions. There you go. If Doctorow can do it, you can too!

Write Now! Mastermind Class. Next Wednesday, we will be talking about how to find time to write with our Write Now! Mastermind guest, Kelly L. Stone. Visit the Mastermind page to sign up.

Your turn. Leave your comments below about your tricks for getting writing done when the people in your life are screaming, “I need you!”

2 Responses

  1. Rochelle, I enjoyed your post.
    I think this is a universal problem. I have lived alone much of my life, yet I still have trouble at times to get around to writing. But, once I get started, the time goes by so fast that I sometimes find I have been writing for several hours. I just wish I could find a balance. Like your 20 minutes/day model. Balance. How difficult that is to create! It works well on paper – a schedule, nicely typed out or hand-written – but is often much more difficult to produce in actions. I do have a young lady living here, but she comes and goes as she pleases and I have no need to work around her. Of course, there are people in my life who require my time and attention, but it’s not quite the same for me as for those with a spouse and children living in the same space. So I guess I am my own problem and need to work on myself as there is no one else here to answer to for my time. Discipline. That’s what it takes. That’s what I need to work on. Later. It’s time to get my dinner now! 🙂
    Happy writing everyone.

  2. writenowcoach

    I love this Diane–because it reminds me that we all have time constraints when it comes to writing. For some of us it is kids and a partner, for others it is work — just fill in the blank! I think this illustrates how difficult it can be to do the work at hand–even when we love it and want to do it! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

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