Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HOW TO: Finding Time to Write


When I mention that I've taken up writing one of the #1 comments is... "How do you have all that time?" / "I wish I had free time to write".

Gah! I wish I had free time. I have 2 kids at home with me all day long, a husband I like to hang out with, & a mom who is disabled and dependent on me. Trust me, I don't have extra time floating around to shower, let alone write.

What I have done is made changes to maximize the hours I do have. A couple things that work for me:

1. I mentally make it a priority. (family & friends first, then writing. Personal hygiene will often come after writing too)

2. I write when my kids are busy doing other things. Sleeping mostly but sometimes I'll take them to the park or set up an art project from them & write next to them.

3. Yum Crock-pot or pre-made frozen dinners.

4. I cut down my TV watching. We watch TV shows online & only 4 or 5 shows per week (Lost, 24, Castle, Survivor, Fringe) Even when I'm watching, I'm usually blogging or something else.

5. I write mostly at night when it's quiet. Scott is studying for his MCSE (don't ask me what the means but it's computer something or other) & that provides me with time to write.

6. I keep a notebook with me all the time. I get random inspiration (especially when driving or grocery shopping), take notes at the time, & then write from that later.

7. I have a cheerleader husband who sometimes has to MAKE me write. It's not as if I feel like writing everyday, all the time. When I don't feel like doing it I have him in my corner saying "No SURVIVOR until you've got 1,000 words". Plus, I think I'm a nicer person when I'm consistently writing so he has incentive.

What about you guys, any other tips for making time to write? Or really any extra curricular activities?

8 comments:

Kristal said...

move to China and only teach in the mornings... I have OODDLES of free time :)

émilie b said...

I'm with you on the TV thing. We don't have cable either, and I really don't miss it. I'm all "woah!" when I go to other people's houses and they have TV on ALL THE TIME (sometimes in every room!). I couldn't live like that -- I like the quiet. TV is such a distraction.

I should prioritize writing, though; that's a good idea. I always have a thousand ongoing projects, for me and everybody else, but I should set time aside for writing. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jessica said...

I have no advice, ha. My last blog post was virtually the total opposite of this one.

Jessica G. said...

I get that comment a lot. But here's the thing: I'm always writing! Even when I don't have a pen in my hand, I'm running dialogue in my head (and sometimes out loud - oops!). Like you, I keep a notebook and pen handy at all times. You never know when the post office line will be really long and you've got plenty of time to block out a scene you've got in mind.

And I don't scrapbook.

Liz said...

I get up at the crack of dawn... and yep... turning off the tv is a huge part of carving out writing time in our house. It helps that my home office is far away from the den. Less temptation. :)

Kristie said...

I am always looking for time to sew. And I would probably find more time if I turned off the TV, and the computer, and then went and sewed.
We went without TV for two years. Never thought I would be so addicted as I am now!
The problem is that there are so many things I want to do! And just never enought time to do all the good things.

Susan said...

You are inspiring. :)

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

I think that goes to show the devotion and passion. I only watch a few hours of tv a week. Nothing like my few hours a day from a few years ago, because instead I'm reading all the time now. So yes, i think the biggest thing is you gotta sacrifice something else or a shave off time from a few something else's so that you can create the time you need. Good post Livie!