One of the most creative tasks a writer pursues is finding time to write. Given that no two writers or life situations are exactly the same, it’s also an individualized pursuit. But here’s what works for me.
Once upon a time, I mostly wrote when I had a two hour block of relaxed, quiet time where I was well-rested, devoid of any headache, and feeling particularly creative. I wrote steadily, but slowly.
Then I had kids. Two little boys. So much for being well-rested. Or knowing if I had two hours or two minutes to write. Surely my productivity would crash. Finding time to write seemed more daunting than fixing gaping plot holes.
But I discovered that I wrote just fine in five-minute bursts. Indeed, my sleep-deprived brain seemed to handle that best. Throughout the day, I’d plot and outline the next scene in my head. I left my Word document open on the computer at all times. When I could, I’d add a few paragraphs. Sometimes I’d get lucky with miraculously coinciding naps and write madly for an hour solid.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, when I began creatively adapting my writing time to suit my current life demands instead of waiting for a perfect moment, I wrote a lot more. Kids never stay the same age for very long, and as they’ve grown, I’ve practiced adapting my time over and over.
My family’s about to go through another big shift. This will be my last post as a Gem State Writer blogger; we’re headed out of the Gem State, for happy employment reasons. I’m going to have a new schedule and a new routine. Finding time to write will require new solutions.
But that doesn’t scare me. Just like plotting or characterization or prose, finding time to write is one more way to flex my creative muscles…and sometimes practice patience.
How do you balance your life demands — work, family, and other — to make room for writing?
P.S. Thanks for having me here on the blog. It’s been amazingly fun.