I have a young friend who at 16 has written two novels. Amazing.
She’s worked hard on them, writing non-stop.
Some days, I envied her because (well everyone envies a 16-year-olds’ health!) her life isn’t cluttered up with things. She could choose to write because there were few demands on her time.
Recently, though, she started a part-time job at a burger joint.
It’s her junior years, so school is getting busier and busier.
She asked me how I find time to write.
Finding Time to Write – Hitting a Moving Target
This is a question whose answer changes constantly. It think that’s important to remember, that as your life changes, you must find a new answer to this question.
When I first started writing, I had four children underfoot. To remind myself to write every day, I carried an ink pen in my jeans pocket. One day, that ink pen leaked and permanently stained the jeans. It’s a stain that reminded me on other days to write.
Now, my life is full of other problems. As a publishing company, there’s advertising, accounting, new book covers, and so many other tasks that consume my day. And in the midst of it, I need to find time to write.
Right now, it works better to schedule a block of days for projects. January/February were taken up by creating a video course about writing picture books (More about that in a future post). But March will be revising a fantasy novel. In the midst of everything else–because all the publishing tasks never stop–I work steadily on the project-of-the-month.
Someone once said: In the short run, I get less done than I expect; but in the long run, I get more done.
That’s my motto these days. Interruptions take me away from the writing. But by consistently coming back to it, I get lots done. Some friends say that I’m very prolific. I don’t think so. I just think that I’m consistent in reaching toward a goal.
OK. I’ll do accounting. But then, I’ll write for 30 minutes.
OK. I’ll proof that cover. But then, I’ll edit what I wrote for 10 minutes.
OK. I’ll create a couple ads. But then, I’ll brainstorm the next chapter for 15 minutes.
Those kids trained me to chunk a task into small sections and to concentrate on just that one segment next. When that’s done, the next segment is naturally apparent and I plan when I can do that one.
In the short run, it looks like I’m going nowhere fast.
In the long run, my writing gets done.
And so can yours.