Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finding Time to Write

Before I start I want to tell you about Dear Teen Me. It's a new blog where writers post letters to their teen selves. You'll recognize a lot of the writers involved (authors like Sarah Okler, Carrie Jones, and Charles Benoit along with a lot of the bloggers you know and love). My letter is up today. *bites nails*

It's really fun. Check it out.

On to my real post.

I've had a lot of friends comment over the last few months that they don't know how, with 3 kids and a baby, I find any time or energy to write.

My answer is I need to write. It is what keeps me sane. Some moms exercise. Some moms decorate. Some moms have jobs. I write.

Because I need it, I make time for it.

Here's how:

1. I write when I get a quiet hour. My three older kids are all in school at the same time for 5 hours a week. It's not a lot of time, and the baby usually requires my attention during a couple of those hours, but the leftover minutes are golden writing time. I can focus.

2. I write when the kids are occupied with other things. My kids destroy the kitchen table with markers, glue, and playdough at least once a week. It's a small price to pay for an hour of uninterupted writing time.

3. Writing is a higher priority than cleaning, unless I'm hosting book club that day or my in-laws are visiting. I still do manage to keep the house picked up most days, but I have a busy day and I have a choice between dishes or writing, I'll write.

4. I'm flexible and realize that it probably won't be possible for me to write everyday. Some days the baby is fussy. Some days I have other commitments. But I write when I can and eventually all that writing becomes a book.

The truth is EVERYONE is busy. I imagine many of you are way busier than me. There are always going to be things we could/should be doing instead of writing, but I believe that most people have time to write a book. It doesn't take much. It's about sitting in the chair, staring at that blank screen or empty sheet of paper and creating something wonderful... or at least decent.

How do you fit writing into your life?


21 comments:

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Go, you!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I don't watch T.V. I work my tail off all day, spend time with my husband and four-year-old when I get home until the little monkey goes to bed, and then... I write.

It keeps me sane too. I'm so glad you're able to find the time- it makes a huge difference, doesn't it?

Ted Cross said...

You have it tougher than me. I need to get my act in gear and stop procrastinating. My two boys are old enough to leave me alone for some pretty good chunks of time, yet I keep finding excuses to read books or play computer games or listen to music rather than write.

Tabitha Bird said...

You rock girl! And you go with that writing! I have two boys and I too steal golden minutes to write. I know that it won't be like this forever and my babies will only be little once :)
Hugs to you writing Mumma!

Elaine AM Smith said...

Wow! I gave up on sleep but found it was the quickest way to poor health. Procrastination steals my time more than family or my social life.

Christine Danek said...

You are busier than me, that's for sure. I try to find when I can. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old so any moment of quiet is prime writing time.
I do need it. It gives me life and keeps me happy. So if the hubs wants me happy, then I need my time. :)

Em-Musing said...

Your perspective is great. Writing is my life, but life's interferences always get in the way. I wish I could NOT answer the phone sometimes.

Sara B. Larson said...

I'm a lot like you, I NEED to write, so I make time for it. Usually at the expense of my house cleaning, but oh well. ;)

WindyA said...

I usually write later at night. My husband works nights, so once the kids are in bed, it's all me time.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

You are my new hero! I need to be better about carving out writing time. Thanks for the motivation! :-)

Susan R. Mills said...

I agree--anyone can find time to write a book. You just have to sit down and do it!

Terri Tiffany said...

You are amazing that you find the time. I write because I DO have the time now but when I work, not at all. ALways so sweet and nice to hear from you Natalie.

Abby Minard said...

I have a five year old and a messy house ;p It's hard to find time to write because I go to bed early and get up super early to go to work (part time), but I still write when I have time. I mostly blog/read blogs while my daughter is awake, and write when I'm alone and she's asleep. Luckily she started kindergarten this year so it's easier to write when I get home from work at 1 until I pick her up at 3:30. Glad you can find time to write with 4 kids!

Joanne Fritz said...

You are one truly amazing person, Natalie! I'm so glad I found your blog.

If you can do it, so can we. Thanks for the reminder.

Paul Greci said...

Right now, I'm fortunate to have a lot of writing time but in my normal life, I get up at 5 a.m. and write for 45 minutes then spend all day teaching at risk teens, then on a few nights a week I get an hour or so a night.

Janna Qualman said...

"My answer is I need to write. It is what keeps me sane. Some moms exercise. Some moms decorate. Some moms have jobs. I write." This could be my answer, Natalie! I so agree.

I heard something about Dear Teen Me the other day, I think from Elana Johnson, and it's an awesome idea. Will be checking it out!

Jill Kemerer said...

Well said! I need to write too. I couldn't stop if I wanted to!

DL Hammons said...

How do I find time to write? Sleep is overrated! :)

Jackee said...

So very hard to find time! But I'm the same way--I have to do it for my own sanity. I force my life to work around one hour everyday. Sometimes that means 4 am, sometimes that means putting kids in front of the TV. But I have to do it.

Thanks for sharing, Natalie!

Medeia Sharif said...

I catch up on weekends or early in the morning.

Blueicegal ♥ said...

wow your schedule sounds hectic but i can relate sometimes blogging is almost therapeutic ,i find myself blogging in my roughest moments :)