Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finding the Time

One major obstacle I encounter in my writing is finding the time. The other is my Internet, but that's another story. I have 5 kids, and although the eldest has moved out, her bipolar has only begun to be treated and she still needs her mom. I'm going to make a rundown list of my children and their needs.

Ash: Age 19, PVC's, asthma, bipolar
Josh: Age 17, Severe asthma, rebellion (don't laugh this is serious issue!), senior.
Patrick: Age 9, Severe asthma, peanut allergy
Edward: Age 7, Newly Severe asthma (used to only get it when sick and not as bad as others)
Isaac: Age 2, Down Syndrome, odd sleep patterns, terrible two's. (there is not a mother out there that wouldn't agree with the assessment of that being a NEED!)

I'm homeschooling the two middle boys at this time. I've cleared everything except now I can't get the Internet working long enough to get the stinking scanner working. May have to make copies and mail. Sigh. It's always something.

Since pulling my children out of school, we have had zero asthma attacks. I know this will change, but up to now, the majority of attacks were not illness related, they were stress related, school was that bad. That means the amount of time I'm spending on asthma related crisis has drastically reduced. In fact, there is now a direct correlation between the time spent homeschooling and the time I used to spend on asthma. Just less stressful cuz, you know, helps when your kids breathing.

As you can see, having a job with my children can be tricky. I do have a husband, and he is more than capable of dealing with it. However, I would still end up having to stay home. Also, I'm absolutely certain the 2 yo is better off with me than at a daycare.

But staying home with them takes work. There are demands of different types, needs that can't wait, and the normal love and care with raising kids. How do I find time to write, you may ask. Simple answer is I have to. For my sanity, I have to.

One thing my family doesn't do well is schedules. The health needs pretty much preclude that happening. Where does that leave me? With an 'approximate' schedule for them. Where does that leave my writing? With an approximate schedule and taking it where I can get it.

I've spoken before on having a ritual. This helps. A ritual means I don't have to worry about what time it is when I start, which helps me to find the time.

I write on paper, notebooks, anything I can get my hands on if I can't be on the computer. In fact, there are times I purposefully move to paper because it changes the way your brain works. There's science to back it up, don't ask me to prove it :P

The other thing is, my mind is always working on my books. If I'm stuck, my mind will work it out as I'm cooking dinner or feeding the 2 yo (certain foods we select to give him minimal amounts as his idea of informing us he's finished is to THROW THE FOOD so, yeah. Still feed him at times.)

The other thing is editing. Editing is the pits for a lot of people, but I don't mind it. If I know my computer time is going to be limited, I print out a copy of the current project I'm working on. Then, when stuck at doctor's offices, or whatnot, I can read, edit, take notes, or even write more. I have added thousands of words to MSs this way. I write on the back of relevant pages. Then when I'm finished, I input it into the computerized version, working backwards. (I will explain the benefits and technique of this in another post. It is awesome for finding problems.)

After I've input everything, I can either reuse the pages I didn't write on back of for next time, or give to my children for drawing/coloring.

What do I have so far? I have a ritual, so the time I work is immaterial, I work in various formats, I'm working things out even when not in front of the MS, what have I missed? Lots of little things, I'm sure :D

But that's the gist of it. If your time is severely locked with family and work responsibilities, you have to be willing to work when you can. You cannot be picky about where, sound, etc. Or you will go crazy. You may have to teach yourself to work through extraneous distractions, but it is well worth the effort.

How about you? Do you have any tricks or tips you can share? I know there are tons more since I barely touched the tip of the iceberg! What obstacles do you overcome to find time to write and how do you do it?


  1. I use paper too. I do some writing on the puter but, most of the time, that's when I'm done fooling around with putting things together in my head. Writing by hand is affordable. I didn't always have a computer nor could I afford the internet. I can hit the dollar store for pens and paper and recycle them, like you said. I've been known to write on my hand or arm if nothing else is available.

    I write whenever and wherever. I can be prolific; in fact, that's my norm when I'm not freaking out over something. I'll pull all nighters. I'll write in the bathroom. (best place ever for awesome ideas and acting out scenes/dialog) Writing during supper, between bites. Wake up earlier to get some time in. I also developed the Closed Door. (whether it's the bathroom or the bedroom or the office now that we have one) if the door is shut it means Stay Out or I will eat your brains. Took a while to get that one through to hubs and son, but now they get it.

    Anyway, those are some I use...but then, I have big pointy teeth and a ferocious growl. My nickname isn't wulfie cause I'm cute and fuzzy. lol

  2. Great points :D Makes me feel lots better about my cranky to get out of here.

  3. Hey, you know what else is kind of cool to do? Surround your writing area with the stuff you dig. For example, for years I was embarrassed about being know, I'm not a teen anymore. Hell, I'm not even a 20 or a 30 anymore! lol But I'm a goth. So I started picking up little things. Dime store sillies like a necklace that says "I'm a sucker for vampires" and strung it off the puter screen. Gargoyles, from the Dollar tree, black silk roses and calla lilies, even movie posters that I cut up and made collages out of. lol My pen holder - tho it's empty right now - is growly fierce wolves. Black, gray and lace curtains I made from material left overs in Wal-mart's cloth section. (cost me $1.50) to make a set of gothy drapes. ha! Fun stuff like that. Helps you go to your area and know you're there to write and do your thing.

    Before I had a place, I used the Kitchen table and, when I worked, burned scented candles and got out a few props to set around me. Made me feel all 'writerly' and such. lol

    Make it fun.