Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taking Time to Write

One of the largest challenges is finding time to write. Between working, children, household duties and life, it can be hard to find time for our passion. I recently met up with another aspiring writer who said that she had the same problem.

I read somewhere that you should try to write for at least 15 minutes a day. I’m not sure if the theory is that when you sit down for 15 minutes you will soon find it has been an hour or more. I find it takes me at least half an hour to get into the groove so I can’t limit myself.

When my girls go to bed, that’s when I write. Ever try writing with two young children around? It’s very frustrating. My husband has sacrificed his quality time with me in the evening and, for that, I’m grateful. This didn’t work when my children were infants because neither slept (literally) so I would go to bed early in an effort to get even an hour sleep before the night waking started.

I also don’t watch television. Thankfully, summer shows aren’t that great so I’m not missing anything. I have successfully avoided getting hooked on Big Brother for the last three years. In the fall I will likely PVR my shows (I don’t want to miss The Originals or Supernatural!) and pick one night to watch them all. Hopefully, before our PVR is full.

The challenge in writing in the evening is that eventually I have to go to bed. I don’t do well on less than seven hours of sleep. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in a story and want to finish “just one more thing”. Before you realize it, it’s later than you wanted it to be. Grudging, I tear myself away and head upstairs to read a little bit before going to sleep. If I don’t read something else before bed, my characters plague me all night.

Keeping a notebook handy during the day and night can help. I often replay scenes in my head or listen to my characters’ dialogues and I get new insights. Keeping track of them helps me focus on things I want to add when I make time to write so I’m not wasting time trying to remember things.

It’s important to make time for the things you enjoy, not matter what it is, though it’s not always easy. Life frequently gets in the way.

I’d be interested to hear how others find time for their writing.