Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Write When Life Gets in the Way

My writing notebooks, sometimes notes, sometimes passages
Five children, one husband, a home, work inside and out of the home.  I thought it was difficult when the children were smaller.  I’m learning that older children require just as much time. 
Then there are the extended family obligations, like downsizing my mother-in-law’s 90 years’ worth of possessions so that she will be able to go to an assisted living apartment.

I realize I’m not alone in having other obligations when trying to find time to write.  Most writers have a host of other obligations, too.  Here are some methods I’ve come up with to tuck a bit of writing into my harried life.

Keep a notebook handy for ideas and reminders while you go through life’s busywork.  You can use electronic devices here.  Then when you're finally able to get to your computer to work, you have a better chance to be productive.    
I tend to carry a notebook and pen everywhere I go.  I do this even on family vacations.  If I’m not documenting family adventures, I’m taking notes for writing projects.

Write during lunchtime breaks instead of socializing.  This is tough, I know.   Humans are social creatures.  The same holds true if you can convince your spouse to take the family to a party and allow you time to write.  Although with five children, I’m usually the one organizing the blasted event.

 Write before the family awakens in the morning, or if you’re a night owl, write after the house is quiet.  I’m the morning bird here.

When all else fails, see if you can find a half hour to hide out…ahem…I mean work in the local library.  This is helpful if you’re the type of writer who tries to work from home where those children and husband live and the busywork surrounds you, calling you by name. 

At times it may seem that the family bond, or your job, is more pressing than the call to write.  Life is not a dress rehearsal.  We go through it only once.  Not everyone can live as long as my mother-in-law and celebrate her 90th birthday.  I need to remind myself of this often.  Still, I try to write whenever I can, and if you want to also, try some of these ideas. 

If you have other ideas on how to fit writing into an already busy life, please share them with me.  Thanks!  Good luck with your writing projects.