Writing Time

Writing time is precious in my house. Plainly put- if my son is here and not napping, writing is impossible. Which is why the few rare hours he’s at preschool or asleep are cherished. And the days he doesn’t nap feels a bit chaotic. No ‘me’ time to mess with the characters in my head.

A lot of times, I find myself leaving the house to limit distractions. Otherwise I’ll spend it online, pinning on Pinterest, reading blogs (haha!), or playing iPad games. Not great tools for finishing a manuscript. So I’ll head to Starbucks or a park (when its cooler outside), find a cozy spot and write. Luckily the Starbucks by my house isn’t packed 24/7 like several others I hear about. I can always find a seat and not feel like someone is spying over my shoulder.

But one thing is clear- mornings are my better times. I’m more focused, clear headed, and energized. The afternoon slump impacts my writing style negatively- I realized that over a few years. Music makes me even more focused. So adding these factors to my writing time is important to have as an effective and productive session as I can.

A while back, I read about an author who spends about 3 weeks writing a novel. 3 weeks!! Here’s how: she writes the entire time, pulling all nighters, only taking a few minutes for essentials (lunch, shower, and potty time), and sleeps maybe 2-3 hours at a time. Clearly, this woman doesn’t have any children. No one to care for. It’s just her. Not sure if she’s married. If she is, I give her husband a lot of props. My husband certainly couldn’t tolerate that schedule, even if it were just us. I bet this author’s publisher absolutely loves having this woman on their roster.

I don’t think I could live on her schedule. I value my sleep far too much. Let alone my family time.

A much smaller goal, I’d love to participate in Twitter 1K1Hr groups, but they always take place an inopportune times. Or maybe I just check Twitter at the wrong times. But I was brave enough to join in NaNoWriMo last year. 50,000 words in a month took dedication. And I was on track to complete it (until a family incident towards the latter half of November required the majority of my time). But keeping that writing time from being ‘stolen’ from distractions is tough.

How do you protect your writing time?

When do you work best?

More importantly, what do you do to forgive yourself when the writing time is otherwise occupied?

2 responses to “Writing Time

  1. I seem to work best on the weekends – mostly since I have to do a lot of writing at work and it’s hard to switch from business brain to creative brain (although they do overlap sometimes). I do get really hard on myself when I have the perfect opportunity to write and nothing comes out. When that happens, I tell myself to find something else to do that’s still “writerly” – maybe editing, blogging or research. Anything as long as it’s not spider solitaire.

  2. well, I work 2 jobs (60 hours a week) and I have to write in the evenings. I find myself MOST productive Tues-Weds-Thurs. I work w/end overnights, and I DO work then, too but most of the time (like now) I bum around on the internet. But I think everything is a test of how badly I WANT it. I just finished (and edited, and SUBMITTED) a 69k novel I wrote in 3 and a half months. A FIRST for me, for sure, but something I would love to make “normal”

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