It's IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. The brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader. To read more posts, click here.
This month's question? How do I find the time to write in my busy day?
I’ve been writing in a dedicated fashion for over seven years now, but my schedule evolved from what happened before. Work. Full-time motherhood. A home. Meals to cook, laundry to fold, our daughter to chauffer. As with many people, life operated on a mad dash and most non-working minutes were crammed full. I rode that high-speed conveyor belt until one day it jammed, tossing me off via a middle-management layoff.
On my first unemployed day, in shock and faced with the terror of blank hours, I wondered, What-in God’s-name-do-I-do now? That morning, I wrote my first blog post, which felt so good, I did it the next morning, and the one after that. Before the week was out, I had developed a new schedule, rising at the same time as pre-pink slip, making lunches, eating breakfast and delivering my daughter to school. At the hour I would have plopped myself on my chair in my office at my former employer, I situated myself in front of my own computer and wrote. Each morning I’d complete a solid draft of a post, then finish chores, take a long walk, or focus on something related to an employment search. In the afternoon, I edited my day’s piece and pressed “publish.” I wrote blog posts six days a week back then. Six months later, I was picking up freelance writing projects, which I loved and still do. There are three unpublished novels in the bin, and one in progress, too.
But—sorry to say, though, things like a steady pay check and insurance benefits still matter.
Eventually, I took a part-time job with later hours. I maintained my own writing or completed freelance assignments by waking up on same early schedule to write before work. Eventually, a volunteer stint led to a freelance assignment that steered me to a different part-time job, which ultimately turned into a 32-hour-a-week commitment. When I accepted my current position, I made a promise to myself. The job is five minutes from home and I start at 8:00. So, when the digital clock blinks 5:40, I roll out of bed to shower. On work days, you’ll find me at my computer by 6:30, writing. I set an alarm, and at 7:30 it goes off. In 15 minutes, I’m on my way to work.
Sure, some mornings I long to stay in bed, but if I gave in to that temptation, it would be like saying writing isn’t important enough. We make choices in life. Getting up an hour early to write is mine.