Today, a good friend told me how she admires me for getting a very good draft of my memoir Accidental Soldier done despite holding down two part time teaching gigs and having a toddler at home who constantly needs my attention in addition to holding down the fort with my ten year old.
I’ve been having to go with the flow for quite some time now. For the last month and a half, my writing time has been squeezed down to the barest minimum (or so it seems). Ever since we signed the contract for a house, all my “extra time,” has gone out the window. Or so it seems. I refuse to give into this thinking because then you are constantly fishing for the right moment to write and you know you don’t have “enough” to write, so of course, that moment needs to be perfect.
Here’s three myths debunked about how writers may conceive the idea of time and thus, sabotage their own writing efforts.
1. Time is a very subjective concept. Yesterday, I was so wrapped with teaching stuff, and letting it consume that I decided I wouldn’t be so anal about my time. I thought to myself, “There’s NO WAY I’m going through a day without writing. So little ol’ tired me sat with my editor’s edits for the chapter summaries of the the book proposal I’m writing. When you tell yourself you don’t have time to write, you believe that you need more. See #2.
2. You can get A LOT done in a very short amount of time. You don’t need oodles to feel productive. I have every excuse not to write these days: paperwork to get done, a toddler creating havoc and destruction, two part time teaching jobs that require lots of tending to. Today for example, I just had TWENTY MINUTES to work on my epilogue for my memoir Accidental Soldier between getting home from my teaching gig and picking up my daughter. Just TWENTY MINUTES. How much can one possibly write in TWENTY bloody minutes? You should have taken a snapshot of my brain. It worked like the wind to make sure I got those two paragraphs written. Now, they may not be the best paragraphs, but heck… I got them written. It just requires focus and you’re there!
3. I keep the “perfect moment” blues at bay. Even with a semi-quiet house, there’s no perfect moment. There’s dishes to be done, laundry to be washed, papers (always papers) to grade. Life doesn’t stop! But the less time I have to write, the easier I might fall prey to “I don’t have enough time to write!” which then becomes a “perfection paralysis.” You’re always waiting for the perfect moment, so your writing life is on standby. Not for me! I can’t afford that kind of thinking!
How do you get writing done? How do you organize your time?
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