Tip of the day: It’s almost October! How did that happen? Anyway, hurry, shop for Halloween costumes now, before the best ones are gone!
I get asked all the time how I do everything I do.
I work a day job.
I have a family, including two kids in school, one of whom asks for help with his homework almost every evening.
I write books.
I have a dog I like to walk, for both of our sakes, and a few TV shows I can’t live without. Okay, okay, I COULD live without them, but I just really don’t want to. I mean, Tim Gunn gives me a reason to get up on Friday mornings! (I know, PROJECT RUNWAY is on Thursdays, but I can’t stay up until 11:00, so I record it and watch it after we have our weekly pizza dinner Friday evening).
Anyway, I’ve definitely got a lot going on.
So, in no particular order, here is my top five list on how to squeeze that writing in.
1) Figure out when you are at your best and do your writing then. Some people do well at night after everyone is asleep. I am not one of those people. I’m better at getting up early. But it really doesn’t matter WHEN you get to the keyboard, just that you do.
2) You have to learn how to get in some writing even when you don’t have a lot of time. If you only have 15 minutes that day, make the most of that 15 minutes. Open the document, read the couple of paragraphs you wrote before right before you left off, and just get started. The hardest part is usually getting started. DON’T MAKE EXCUSES. Open the document and GO.
3) When I’m trying to get a first draft done, I make it a goal to do at least 100 words a day NO MATTER WHAT. Usually I end up doing more than that, but this simple goal forces me to think about my time throughout the day and I am ALWAYS able to find the time to open the document and add some words.
4) The internet is an evil distraction – you must have designated writing time and you must have designated internet time. I try to write in big chunks on the weekends, since I have more time then, and I work really hard to stay away from the internet during that time. If I have to turn the internet router OFF, I do it.
5) Sometimes, in order to find the time to write, I do have to give up something else. I find that as long as I don’t give up the SAME thing each time, it’s doable. A couple of days a week, I may give up 30 minutes of sleep, and get up earlier than I normally do. A couple of days a week, I may not exercise as long as I usually do. A couple of days a week, I may spend less time responding to e-mails and doing promotional things. Every day – it’s about prioritizing and making choices.
Finally, the last thing is to not be too hard on yourself. I have some days and even some weeks where there is just too much going on and writing takes a backseat. It doesn't do any good to beat myself up about it, because usually those days/weeks are ones where I'm stressed to the max anyway. So, I tell myself, it's okay. That's life!
Any tips you have on how to fit writing in to a busy life?
~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career