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?


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!