Friday Speak Out!: Taking Time to Write

Friday, August 11, 2017
by Amanda Crofutt

Balancing writing and my family has been something that I have struggled with since my first child. I now have three kids and two step kids. I think with time and practice it gets easier, but it is definitely something that is learned. I have written since I was a young teenager, writing was always an outlet for me. I am sure it is that way for many of us, but as I got older I discovered that I wanted to also inform people. I didn’t just want to put my emotions out there. Then at nineteen I had my first child, and I thought I would have to give it up. I loved him with all my heart, but at the same time I was a single parent struggling some days to find time to shower yet alone to write a quality essay of any length for anything, or anyone. As he got a little older I realized that as much as I loved my child I had left everything I had once loved behind for him. I had to start making time for me again. I had this Epiphany around the time he was almost a year old. I met my now husband around the same time, there is a lot that he helped me through but that is something that can be talked about some other time.

I realized that I needed to dedicate an hour to me a day, that was my magic number, as I call it anyway. The amount of time I spent doing something solely for me that made me feel good and happy and whole. I started by dedicating that time to writing, spending time at a lake, walking. As I did I realized what had been missing for a year was me, and my writing. I don’t know about most of you, but writing is how I make sense of the world around me. So to lose that most sacred part of me was almost like someone had cut out a large chunk of my heart. When I had my second child two years later I did not let up off of having one hour a day to myself, and now that I have five kids I still have one hour a day to do what I please, to write, to experience, to live life without thinking of being mom first and writer second.

The point of all of this is, find your magic number. It may be different than mine. It took me almost three weeks to figure out that it was an hour every day for me. It may be two hours every day for you. It may be an hour every other day. Find it, and then hold yourself to it until it is second nature. Take that time to take a walk so you can hear the birds, finish another chapter in your book. Maybe you just need an hour binge-watching your favorite show. We all get inspiration from different places, but find yours, take it and turn into something. You can’t do that without dedicated time to write. Here’s to your next piece.

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My name is Amanda, I have been a writer since my early teen years. Now I am a mom of five with a full time job. I have been married for three years to a veteran, which comes with its own ups and downs. I have recently decided to take to publishing my work. Visit:  

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Amanda--You're right. If you don't take time to fill up your own well, you can't take care of your family. Also, each person deserves that--some time for just them.

Good luck taking your writing to the published stage. These days, there are so many options for authors. You didn't mention it, but if you don't already belong to a writing critique group, I would highly recommend it. Having other people look at my work and make suggestions for revision has been integral to my growth as a writer. Find some people near you who like to write. Set up a day or two every month... which then forces you to write (so that you don't come to your writing group every time empty-handed).

And enjoy those kids. Mine are both grown up and in their late 20s and mid 30s. You'll blink a couple of times and yours will be grown up and gone as well...

Unknown said...

Yes I know I need to find a critique group. Its hard to find one in my area though. I have went for having my husband read my work for now once a week. It definitely keeps me writing and on my toes. He doesn't go easy on me by any means. I think he proofread this piece four times before he was finally happy with it.

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