As a mother to a rambunctious four-year-old and a special needs toddler, I find my day spread thin. Writing cannot be placed high on my list of priorities when there are dirty dishes to wash and little bodies to bathe and read books to.
But the writing still happens.
I need it. It is a deeply seated passion for me, a calling from my Heavenly Father. When I find the time for writing I feel steadier, happier, and more peaceful. This year alone I have finished two novels, begun another, kept up a twice-weekly blog, and grew my audience through social networking.
You might ask, “How do you make time?” Or, “What do you give up so that you can write instead?”
Below are eight ways in which I have made productive time for writing. Perhaps some of them will work for you as well.
- Start the day with a little writing. I like to wake before the rest of the family does, drink a cup of coffee with my devotional, and then write. I can get half-an-hour to an hour in before I need to start cooking breakfast.
- Set an alarm on your watch or phone for 5-10-minute writing breaks a few times during the day. Concentrate on getting ideas down and forget about comma placements and grammar.
- Dedicate a good block of time in your day for writing. For me, this is my toddler’s naptime. It might be an hour or three depending on her day. I lay aside house chores and set up my four-year-old with quiet activities.
- Trade in TV time for writing. This is something I do depending on the goals I want to accomplish. Television has the potential to take leak away too many hours.
- Turn off phones and Wi-Fi on your computer. Focus. That tiny little beep my phone makes has the potential to steal thoughts as fast as a power-outage. My curiosity can’t wait until I’ve read my notification or message and then before I know it I have lost valuable time engrossed in social media.
- End the day with writing. Fifteen minutes of writing will not only help you get a first-draft blog done, or get in a word count for your novel, it will also help settle your mind much better than watching your favorite show.
- Create your own “retreat”. Dedicate a day or two to writing. Pay for a babysitter or send children to their grandparents. Prepare yourself with caffeine, snacks, and the best distraction-free atmosphere you can make. Enjoy a deeper immersion into your project.
- Connect with God first. Connecting with God helps me focus, clear my mind, and set my heart. I have less writer’s block and less mindless gibberish when I invite God first into what I am writing that day.
Adela; and their special-needs toddler, Micaela. Her blog, The Beautiful Day Project, concentrates on
encouraging mothers in their parenting journey.