This is a crazy busy time of year for me – this year in particular. After having emergency surgery in June, my summer got completely screwed up as far as the things we were going to do in the first half of summer. This last half, I’m not quite sure how we got here, but it’s going to go fast. I don’t have but one free weekend all month – and I can’t exactly get out of any of it either. It’s all family stuff. Both of my girls have/had birthdays this week. The adult-sized girl was on the sixth, and the pint-sized one is actually today. Today, she turns the big THREE. And today is the party. At first when I was informed that this was my weekend in the line-up to post, I might have panicked a little.
ACK! I DON’T HAVE TIME! NOT ENOUGH TIME! So I asked around (very little) to see if someone would switch with me. Demi said she would if I needed her to, but then I started thinking about it. Even though I have a million other things to get done for this weekend, I could still do it. What’s a few hundred words after all? I wrote about 300 just a few days ago while chatting online with a couple of friends who were highly distracting. And it only took a few minutes.
So what did I do in the midst of doing the deep clean? Every couple of hours, I grabbed my laptop, and told my husband, “Five minutes. Time me!” and then buried myself in the bathroom for silence.
Trying to find time to write in the chaos of life can be tough. Sometimes, all I can get in are a few minutes at a time. Sometimes, not at all. Writing under any circumstances isn’t exactly easy. Sometimes the words flow like a raging river, sometimes more like a dried up lake bed that hasn’t seen a drop of water in over a hundred years. But… I’m still going to try and find those words in the time that I do find to squeeze in between making lunch for the kids, vacuuming up the spilled frosted flakes, and separating the screaming machines. But sometimes, all it takes is those few minutes. Waiting for the coffee to brew. It’s amazing how many “little moments” there are to hack out a few words on the keyboard. On the bus or train, if you ride the rails so to speak. At the bus stop or train depot while you await your version of the chariot. Sitting in the parking lot waiting for preschool to let out so you can bring your little one home and be bombarded with a million and one questions you don’t have an answer to.
But then there’s Tuesday nights. My NaNo MLs and I meet (almost without exception, except basically the month of June due to varying ailments – both human and transport) at a gamer shop to do nothing but write. Supposedly that’s why we go anyway. We often spend time chatting and giggling and having a fun-fest, and recently, because we’re all trying to lose weight, we go for a walk as well. But while we’re there and focused on the writing, (and gee, look, I’m already over 500 words!) we like to do timed bouts. We go for forty-five minutes, and then talk about it after. If we’re paying attention to the time, we’ll talk for fifteen minutes, and hop right back into another bout. We keep each other motivated, we keep each other honest. And sometimes, we have to say, “Stop that! You’re making the rest of us look like a bunch of lazy bums!”
I would do this on my own, but every time I say I’m going to, I forget to set the alarm, or get bored with it because the entire thing about the bouts that works for me is the competition of it. Or maybe not necessarily the competition, but rather the accountability. The other reason I don’t do them on my own is because I’m home and have two kids who demand my attention. Any time I sit down with the laptop, I feel like I’m in an interrogation cell being grilled by some disgustingly handsome detective. Or an absurdly awful looking one. I’m not sure which would be worse. But I’m off topic now.
Otherwise, even if I don’t end up doing timed bouts online with my NaNo pals (because if someone is on while I’m trying to work on a WIP, I’ll see if they’re up for a bout as well) I do still have my nights. I have some time scheduled in for writing every day. Mostly I take advantage of it. But when the rest of the house is quiet, after everyone else is in bed, I write to my heart’s content. Provided I don’t get distracted by what I like to call research but is really just scrumptious looking men on Pinterest.
But really, there are a lot of different ways to make time to write. Timed bouts with friends online – or alone. Regularly scheduled time. Whenever you can squeeze in a few minutes. Not bad for half an hour, including editing, huh?