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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG: So Many Words...So Little Time






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  There are three unpublished novels in the bin, and one in progress, too.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.

17 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You've blocked out time and made it happen. That's the only way to do it.
I bet you don't miss the mad dash anymore though.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Congratulations Liza - I definitely need to add hours to my day - which means getting up earlier ... good for you. Well done on starting blogging too - I'm delighted I've done it ... cheers Hilary

Jennifer Lane said...

Way to turn a shocking downer into a happy upper! And no way I could support myself on my measly author earnings. Glad you've found a good balance.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Excellent point about making choices! I've been getting my butt up early to exercise and, although it's tough to get out of bed, I know it's important.

Bish Denham said...

That's dedication. I'm not nearly so disciplined. But when I am writing, I at it from about 7 AM to Noon. Sometimes longer... sometimes shorter... :)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I find that when I had less time, I accomplished more. Setting schedules, planning times off, dealing with family, work, school and fitting everything in - somehow - was my life. I am so proud of what I could do and sometimes look back in awe of myself. Life is easier now and I guess that I have become used to it, but part of me wishes for those days when I had goals and life was more interesting. Enjoy this time, especially in the early hours, when you have carved out time for you and what you love to do.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

You don't write because you want to, you do it because you have to, and so you will always find time.

IWSG September

Diane Burton said...

Congrats on making time to write. Never easy, but it's all about making choices. Best wishes.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Although I'm sure you didn't feel that way at the time, in retrospect, it looks like that pink slip may have been the best thing that ever happened to you. Because of that, you've been able to follow your heart and do the writing you wanted to do all along. (Your stubborn determination helped a bit, too!)

Crystal Collier said...

*applauds* I hear you. That's when I'm up to do my exercise. Otherwise it wouldn't happen.

cleemckenzie said...

I understand how important making that commitment is, then sticking to it another matter. Good luck and it's heartening to see how you worked out a plan that works for you.

Jenni Enzor said...

I loved how something that was bad turned into a good turning point for you with your writing. I applaud your diligence in doing your writing in the morning. I bet it feels good to start your day that way!

Nick Wilford said...

Yep, that's what you need to do if you want to get something done. I'm also an early morning writer, and I love it because silence and solitude are the conditions I need to get creative. It sounds like that lay-off worked out for the best too, because your current employment situation sounds more conducive to your schedule.

glnroz said...

you are an inspiration,,,makes me feel "slack" :) glenn

Connie said...

Liza, this is a wonderful post. It's so true. If something is important to us, we have to make it a priority and allot time for it.

Marian Green said...

Such an inspiring post. I admire you for making the time so early in the morning before you go to work. It makes me think I need to prioritise my writing time. Not sure I will be able to get up before six though.

gramswisewords.blogspot.com

dolorah said...

Now that's dedication to the craft. Looks like things worked out well by losing the regular job.