Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. This Week’s Topic: How do you balance hectic times like the holidays with your writing schedule?
This is a good question. Finding balance in your life can be complicated. It seems like something’s always getting in the way. But during the holidays, with the accompanying pressure to make every moment meaningful and Pinterest-perfect, finding time to write seems even more impossible. But it really doesn’t have to be. Here’s how I look at it:
Try a quickie. Like good sex, good writing doesn’t always have to happen in marathon sessions. As I examined my day, I found small pockets of time in the weirdest places: five minutes on hold with a caterer at work, ten minutes while I’m making breakfast, twenty minutes when I finished my lunch early. With some preparation, that’s plenty of time to jot some words down. Get in where you fit in!
Be ready. I always carry a pen and journal or notebook to scribble down character info, dialogue, ideas, outlines, etc. It comes in handy when you need a jumping-off point for some fast drafting. On the rare occasions that I don’t have pen and paper, the notes function on my phone makes a great substitute. It drives me crazy when I have a flash of inspiration and promptly forget it because I didn’t write it down.
It all adds up. I approach writing like fitness. Even if done in spurts, it’s cumlative and has positive effects. That means on one day I might only get 50 words in, but the next might find me cranking out 1,000 in an hour. It’s okay to not have massive writing output day in and day out. The goal is to write something.
Be selfish. Oh, if only self-sacrifice translated into wordcount! Writers are really good at making creative dates and then standing themselves up. If you do manage to carve out time for writing, honor it at all costs. Natural disasters or family-related catastrophes notwithstanding, I promise that your life will not crumble if you leave your house for an hour to write at the library or the coffee shop. As you know, time is precious and your creativity needs care and feeding as well.
Do you struggle with finding balance? How do you find time to write?