Writing can be such a daunting process. You come up with an idea, figure out where you want to go with it, and get down to the actual business of writing. And then the doorbell rings, or the dog needs to go out, or supper needs to be started. What gets in the way of my writing? Life. Life gets in the way but I’ve learned that I can write anyway.
I’ve heard people say you should write a little bit every day and I tried that. It just didn’t work for me. I would miss a day or two and feel guilty. I’d mentally beat myself up because I didn’t stick to the plan. But feeling guilty isn’t a very good use of my time either. Instead I chose one evening a week as my writing time. I’m fortunate to have a separate room for my writing so when a family member sees me tapping away at the keyboard, they leave me to my writing. But even so, life gets in the way.
Sometimes I’m tired because I didn’t sleep well the night before and I have trouble concentrating. If I have a headache, it’s hard to focus on the computer screen. When my back hurts, it’s difficult to sit still. Getting older has its perks but it comes with some challenges too. But overall, the decision to have one night set aside as my writing time works the best for me. It isn’t foolproof but it’s certainly better.
My husband and I decided to volunteer with a local animal rescue and foster puppies. Well guess what happened? For the year that we fostered, I did very little writing because puppies are a lot of work. After almost a year and 20-some puppies, we made the difficult decision to stop fostering. It felt wonderful to help out, and puppy kisses make up for a lot of missed sleep but I wanted to write so something had to change.
When I made my writing a priority instead of an afterthought, it was easier to ignore the daily hiccups that life throws my way. I gave myself permission to focus on what I really wanted and I’m playing the long game now. I plan ahead. I shut off my phone. I ask people not to interrupt me. I feel good about my writing plan and that helps me enjoy life after I’ve saved my story and shut the computer down for the night.
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