Monday, August 27, 2012

You Have Time For Everything. No, Seriously. You Do.

So. Time management is a big deal. Not just to writers, but human beings in general. As a human being and a writer, I feel compelled to share my views on this topic. 

Be warned, folks. I am not:

A mother
A wife

I am:

A daughter
A sister
A friend
A full-time grad student
Obsessed with TV shows
Obsessed with cinema
Obsessed with blogs/the Internet
Extremely lazy

I know, I know. I have it easier than you, right? Well, sure. I do have it easier than those of you with children, spouses, and/or a job. But guess what? It's not about the responsibilities I have or don't have. It's about my attitude. And some days, I just don't want to write. No particular reason is needed. I simply wake up and say, "I don't want to write today." Instead, I want to hang out with my BFFs, or go to the movies, or Google places I'd like to travel to, or read Victorian poetry for my comp exams, or watch episodes of my fave shows, or update my resume. These are all excuses, no matter how valid some of them might seem. In the end, I always miss my story. I always want to jump right back in the next day. And I always try my best to do so.

There are lots of people with more responsibilities than me who write every single day. There are those who have more responsibilities than me who write once or twice a week. There are those who insist they're too busy and don't write for long stretches of time. Here's the thing, folks: writing isn't a hobby for writers. Writing is a need for writers, a passion that begs for attention. If you're not aching for that blank page, be it in a Word document or in a notebook, good. Your mind is on other things that matter to you. But writing should matter, too.

Work long hours and arrive home super tired? Get up earlier and write whatever you can manage. Dinner needs to be cooked? Brainstorm while cooking, then write what you came up with after the dishes are clean (or let someone else do the dishes!). Need to watch your kids like a hawk? Read to them, or ask them to tell you a story--sometimes being creative in different ways fuels your writing. *shrugs* There are billions of ways to slip some writing into your day, blogging buddies. The trick is believing it and wanting it enough. 

You don't find time. You make it.

Now tell me: how are your time management skills? Tips are most welcome! :)


Becky Mahoney said...

Yessss, I love this post. <3 Finding a writing schedule was hard for me when I graduated college and started working full time (and living on my own for the first time was an adjustment in itself... what do you mean there are chores I have to get done?) but I've finally fallen into a pattern that works for me. And if I get this new, more demanding job, I'll need to figure out a different pattern, BUT I WILL. Because this is important to me.

Weirdly enough, it's easier sometimes to write on weekdays than weekends. I usually try to get around that by opening MS Word as soon as I wake up on Saturday morning, before I get a chance to get distracted by anything else.

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

I am somewhat lacking in the time-management department. I decided when my daughter was little that I could live in a messy house, though. That's the one place I really compromise. I don't do a lot of housework. I can live with it, since I know I do my best in every other area of my life (like loving my family, staying on top of the important things, and writing).

Leigh Ann said...

It's true! You do make time! I do miss my TV time and full nights of sleep, but all the writing is worth it. I just posted about this today - love the internet writers' hivemind. <3

Heather Murphy said...

There are distractions for every walk of life. I'm still looking for the "Perfect schedule" myself. It can be a difficult balance because after working I want to spend time relaxing with my boyfriend also and I'm NOT a morning person!

Andrea said...

As I listen to the quiet of my child-free house on this first day of school, I contemplate all the zillion things I can and need to do with this space of time. . . Your post is very timely. Thanks.

Michelle McLean said...

From Dawn Allen:

You remember the "how many people can we cram in a Volkswagon bug from the sixties" game? That's how I find time for writing. I cram it in every possible crevice I can find. Any five or ten minute spot becomes a place for something writing related. If I find a couple of hours, it's a gold mine.


"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." ~Anton Chekhov

Charity Bradford said...

So true, so true. For years I had to sneak writing in whenever I could. I'd write in notebooks in the car pool line, take my laptop to doctor's appointments, whatever it took to get some words down. Not being able to write was frustrating, but I need quiet to get to the good stuff.

Today was the first day in 16 years that all 4 of my kids were in school. It was glorious! There was time for me to exercise, clean, and shower before writing time. Believe it or not, those things helped my writing time be more productive.

Then I actually got to sit down with a 4 hour block of uninterrupted time! I was beside myself with joy! I'm in edit stage and managed 100 pages before I fell asleep on the couch.

My advice is do the best you can, but don't give up because one day it really will be your turn and great things will happen. I'm glad I had all that practice before getting serious. ;)