Eariler this week I had a brief twitter conversation with another author, far more successful than I, about finding time to write. As I’ve mentioned before, I came into the whole writing thing kind of naive about what writing would take from me, and what it would mean for me. Now, as some may know, I’m blessed with one background factor, my mom is a now retired english professor who specialized in creative writing, rhetoric, and poetry. While she didn’t come to that job when I was growing up, she and my father were avid readers when I was a child. It wasn’t until my teen years that my mom went back to school to get all her English degrees and pursue that path. I knew that writing took time, I got that.
But I wasn’t quite as prepared for the 1001 distractions that happen when your writing. You have everything under the sun wanting your attention sometimes. I actually find it easier to write at work (during lunch break!) than at home a lot of the time. Even with my day job being something that can take a lot of attention at times, I find that I’m left alone more at work.
At home, my kids have the uncanny ability, the moment I sit down, to need me. I don’t begrudge them this, they are young kids, and it’s really important to me to be there for them, even if it’s a 20 minute rendition of everything that’s cool with a bunch of dinosaur toys my son likes. But still, 5 minutes before i sat down no one had said anything to me for an hour, i figured I was home free!
The other issue I find myself struggling with is sleep. Usually I can only really write at night, when everyone is asleep. that means I don’t get to even start writing until 9pm or later. On weekdays, I find myself, even with coffee, starting to nod off after 1000 words or so. I recently even fell asleep at the keyboard, head down, mid sentence for 4 hours.
The other issue with writing at night vs writing during the day, is quality. I write far better during the day. The ideas flow better, the wording is better, and I don’t read over it and think ‘This is total crap.” It’s a struggle at night sometimes. My mind just isn’t as focused.
So, to anyone reading this.. How do you find time to write?