Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where the Time Comes From

Besides the novel writing thing, I am a mother of three (7, 9 and 11 years old), a (very small time) shepherd, a teacher with a two hour each way commute (Yes, I know this last thing is utterly insane).

People sometimes ask "When do you find the time to write?"

Well.... I don't FIND time at all. I steal it away from all the everyday stuff I'm supposed to do. I let the house go and go and go. I decline social invitations if they interfere. I let the laundry and dishes and toys pile up.

Here, for example, is the kids' "project table", a dumping ground for all the stuff they are working on, have taken out and not put back, etc. (Notice as well, that the wilting Valentine's day roses from my sweetie are in a charming plastic pitcher because the money that we could be putting into nice stuff for the house goes into writing conferences or books or kids.)

And this, people, is the tip of the domestic iceberg.

Is it worth it? I have no idea.

Worth is a tricky concept where writing is concerned. I don't do it because I want to see my name in print or make bucoo bucks. I do it because I kinda-sorta HAVE to. I steal my moments. I steal them fervently, wantonly. I steal them, because without writing, a little chunk of my soul might wither and die. (How's that for melodrama?)

Perhaps I'll regret all the time spent writing. I might end up a grumpy old woman mourning the friendships I didn't have time to develop, the cluttered tables of my youth, the times I ditched everybody on a fine sledding day to hang out with words. It's certainly possible.

But then, I just can't help myself.

Anyway, that's where the time comes from.

How do you manage your writing time?


N. Blank said...

When I get home from work, I make dinner and eat it while I write. My keyboard hates me for all the spills. :-)

Sometimes I will read what I've written while I'm on the eliptical.
I've also discovered that it's possible to do yoga and write. I use a recorder.

N. Blank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia Gregoire said...

I so don't manage time. I've been considering a time management course so I can be more efficient in the day job and the writing thing.

Keary Taylor said...

I totally feel the same way... lol I've started getting up an hour and a half before the rest of my family does, just for some quiet, guilt free time! haha


Laura Howard said...

Different areas of my life often take back seat, so I totally get it. Writing for us isn't just a hobbie, it's like breathing. If the words don't come out you suffocate!
I'd like to go to the Unicorn Writing Conference in Portland CT someday, have you heard of it?
I've heard of Grub St by Michelle Hoover, in fact my writing coach is a huge advocate of her work and she's featured on the blog a few times: http://thelitcoach.blogspot.com/2010/10/goals-in-this-writers-life-blogshop.html

Laura Campbell said...

I schedule it along with all my other daily tasks. Single, no children and unemployed provides an abundance of time to write. Too much free time. The schedule keeps my normally flighty behavior in check. Without it, I'd be roaming around getting nowhere.

Jen said...

Simple! Housework? What's housework?

JoLynne Lyon said...

I promise myself I'll write for 30 minutes. Usually if I do that it turns into more. I'm the most effective when I deny myself any Internet activity until I've met my writing quota. Also I leave the TV off.

Sylvia Ney said...

Oh my! I feel like you stole this post right out of my heart! ;-) I've recently been worrying I'm leaving too much ignored to write. I often let things go that need to be done. I've been worrying recently I'll regret that later. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone!

Perri said...

Wow! Thanks so much for the response, you guys. I'm glad I'm not the only one who drops a few balls while life-juggling :)

T.K. Millin, The Unknown Author- said...

Great post!
I can really connect with the need to write. I believe only writer's can understand what it feels like to "have to write!"
Has anyone ever participated in NaNoWrimo? Talk about neglecting chores!
I write everyday even if I can only dedicate a small amount of time. NaNoWrimo helped me learn to set word count goals, it works!

Micah said...

You mean 11 and a half year old