Finding Time To Write

So last Saturday, I proudly posted about how I managed to find ten a half hours to write during the previous week, over my goal of writing for one hour a day. This week, I got in a measly four hours and forty-five minutes, well below my goal for the week. The culprit? Extra hours at work.

For those who don’t know me in real life, my day job consist of two library jobs where I work a variety of shifts. Someday it’s mornings and afternoons, the other days it’s afternoons and evenings. I’ll get home at 9PM one night, only to leave the following 9AM the next morning to start up my next shift. It confuses the hell out of everyone near and dear to me and not even my most attentive relations can keep my schedule straight, despite the fact that it’s pretty stable. But even though it’s all over the board I can usually find time to write every day, often more than that required hour. And on top of that, I actually like my jobs, which makes everything just fine.

But last week I picked up some extra hours at one job, and was thrown all off. Times when I would usually write up to two hours in the afternoon, I had to squeeze in a mere 30 minutes in the morning. My six hour days all became eight to ten hour days. And the days when I would have tie to catch up, I found myself saddled with other responsibilities (including today. I need to go wedding dress shopping, so I’ll finish this up soon).

Weeks like this usually hit me once a month, and they’ve really taught me the importance of finding time to write, period. No, you’re not going to get as much accomplished in that thirty-minute span as you are in a hour and a half, but at least you’re still keeping up the momentum. I find that spending too much time (more than a day or two) away from my writing makes it a lot harder to come back to the keyboard when I have the time. It’s so important to just KEEP WRITING. You might be working on different projects, but dropping the habit all together is never a good idea.

This had me wondering, gentle readers (and hello to my two new followers this week!), how do you find time to write, or work on your creative projects? I, as mentioned before, tend to be a little all over the map, but I get most of my writing done in the morning, after exercising. This means I typically have to wake up a bit earlier than I’d like to, but it’s a lot easier to put something off later in the day. How do you work around your work schedules, children, guild meetings, noisy roommates, etc? What did you get accomplished this week?


4 thoughts on “Finding Time To Write

  1. Calico

    What I did last year was a page a day. One page, double-spaced. Once I finished my page, I could keep going if I wanted, but the daily goal had been reached, so there was no pressure. If you’re finding it difficult to find time to write, then that may be a good method for you. Because while it doesn’t sound like much, one page a day adds up to 365 pages a year: that’s a whole book!

    1. nancyotoole Post author

      That’s not a bad idea. I’ve spoken with someone here that does something similar (a chapter a day, which sounds DAUNTING given that my most recent chapter was 12 pages long), but I tend to do better to either word based goals (1,500-2,000 words a day for first drafts) or, even better, time based ones, which is what I usually stick with. Unfortunately, every now and then I find a week where that just doesn’t work for me. I guess if it only happens every now and then, it’s not necessarily a horrible things. I’ve done pretty good with staying on the wagon this year so far.

      1. Calico

        Chapter goals are kind of crazy unless you write short chapters, IMHO. And I used to be like you, needing either a time period goal or a word count goal. That hasn’t worked for me since grad school, and I think it only worked for me in grad school due to my having a deadline.

        You may want to try the page a day as a last resort when you know you can’t fit your time in. OR start the day with a page a day, then do what you gotta do, and then try to meet your time goal?

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