Life is busy, sometimes often insane. How do you find the time to write within your life?
The title is a lie; time is not on my side. And that, I think, is why I am successful at writing or finding the time to write.
Let me give you a little glimpse of my day-to-day:
During the Semester:
6:00 am – Wake Up
7:30 am – Leave for train after getting myself and the 16 month old ready
8:50 am – Meet up with babysitter
9:15 am – Get to work and begin work on Jobs 1 and 2 (Administration and FT Adjunct)
4:30 pm (most days) – Leave for Home
6:00 pm -Arrive home and take care of child
8:00 pm – Child to sleep
8:05 pm until sleep – Try to write
(One day a week: Teaching until 7:00 pm, get home at 9:00 pm, see if I have life left to write. Usually not).
Summer: All of the above except I leave work at 2:30 pm and get home by 4:00 pm. Which means more time to write.
So finding time can be tough. Especially with another person needing me at most hours of the day (and refusing spouse because why not?). But what I find helps is either writing while she’s napping, doing short sprints (10-15 minutes) when she’s distracted with Baby Shark or another toy, or just waiting until she’s asleep.
Luckily, I do have a decently fast typing speed so I’m able to do my minimum word count most nights during the summer. I can do a few 15 or 12 minute sprints and be done with whatever the goal is (if it’s not for #50in5, of course). During the semester, I tend to forego a daily word count and instead focus on monthly or weekly.
My weekends I take full advantage of however I can. My spouse is great about taking the baby out for a few hours if I need it. My in-laws or my parents will visit, but never for the entire day (thank the gods) which means I still can fit in words when possible.
This sort of rigid day-to-day really pays off with scheduling when I do have the time to write. Since I have to use any moment I have free to write during my busy time, during my not-as-busy time I can usually bring that same focus and feeling of “It’s now or never!” and be doubly productive.
For example, if I am doing a 10,000 word day, I can usually be done before dinner. I think the last time I had one, I wrote from 7 am until 2 pm and was finished. Then, since I had time after dinner, I wrote in my Camp NaNo novel because I still had motivation to write.
Now is that every day? No. A thousand times no.
Do I let it stop me? Some days. I stopped worrying about writing every day this year and have focused on writing as much as I can when I can write. It’s been successful so far.
Do I push through the lack of motivation? Yes.
Just like with running (which I’ll talk about in another post), it’s not motivation but dedication. If this is what you want to do – whether it’s writing a novel or running a marathon – you push through the suck. You do it. Because you are dedicated to that end goal. And when you cross the finish line and get the medal, you’ll forget the suck. I promise.
How do you deal with procrastination? What are your favorite tips/tricks to stay on track?
I love word wars and sprints for moments when I find myself losing focus. If I can be laser sharp for ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes, I will eventually hit a scene where I want to write it. And then I’ll lose track of time!
Words Written: 40,310
Shard of Sea: 10,291
Chapters Completed: 7
Shard of Sea: 2.5
Favorite Scene Since Last Update:
Shard of Sea: N/A (yet!)
Thriller: Kerrington’s escape.