Working Writing into Our Busy Lives: 5 Things that Work for Me

Wednesday, August 29, 2018
As the kids go back to school, it is a good time to review what is working for each of us in our writing lives and what isn’t. Don’t have kids going back to school? That’s okay, because this is something you should do a couple of times a year regardless. Our lives, including our writing lives, are constantly changing. We have work and family and more family and Fitbits all demanding attention. Crystal can’t be the only one finding it hard to get the writing done.  See her post here.

Here are five things that help me fit writing into my daily routine.

1. You are a Writer . . . so call yourself a writer. Sure, you may be a writer with a family and a job. Or a family and a church. Or whatever. But put writer out there for everyone to see. If you think of yourself as a wife, mom, daughter, choir member, yoga student, and scout leader who writes, writing will probably continue to come last. Put if first because, let’s face it, the kids, the husband, and the job aren’t going to be so quiet you forget them.
2. Schedule writing time. Don’t write just when you get to it. Put it in your schedule. Whether it is 15 minutes or 30 minutes, write before you do the laundry, hem someone’s uniform skirt, or make dinner. Write first.
3. Disconnect. When it is time to write, don’t answer the phone, check e-mail or go on Facebook. Got a ping that means someone just texted you? They can wait 15 or 30 minutes. Seriously. Unless you’re a surgeon and a patient is on the list for a donor kidney. If that’s the case and you can’t risk ignoring your phone, give it to someone else for 30 minutes. They can come get you if it is really important.
4. Close the door. Literally or figuratively. My home office has a door and I sometimes have to close it. When it didn’t have a door, I kept a Nerf Blaster on my desk. Step through that door and it had better be vital – fire, bleeding, lack of respiration, donor organ available. If not, I will Nerf you. No, seriously.
5. Engage. When you have had time to write, come out and engage. Tell them how happy you are that you’ve had time to write then play with the kids, talk to your husband, return that call to your Mom, whatever. Truly engage.

If you are a writer, the need to write can make you miserable if you aren’t working it into your day. Take stock of how you spend your time and look for a bit of wiggle room. Just don’t be surprised if what works today doesn’t work in a year. Our lives, after all, are constantly changing.


To find out more about Sue Bradford Edwards' writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.  Sue is also the instructor for Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins September 10th, 2018.


Angela Mackintosh said...

Love this post, Sue! I need a Nerf Blaster for my FIL, or I guess a lock--no matter how many times I tell him that when I'm in my office I'm working, he forgets. He's 78. I like the idea of actually scheduling in the time. I live by my calendar, but don't have a set writing time. I think it would help tremendously. Your last paragraph is gorgeous. :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--I love that you used to use a Nerf blaster to ensure you had time to write without getting interrupted.

I also appreciate the reminder to engage when we're not writing. Life is too short to not savor the time with our family and friends.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

One of my son's friends would come into the room and complain that I didn't have enough seating for all of them. Okay, sugar. You're missing the point.

My husband and I have been making a point to get down to the lake. No cell service so you tend to pay attention to the rest of the world.

Thank you for the kind words!

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