Monday, September 13, 2010

Finding Time to Write: It Does Get Easier, I Promise!

Though I've been writing full-time for ten years now, and could conceivably work whichever days I please, I still count Mondays as the beginning of my work week. It's a habit I'm used to and see no reason to break. Still, I seldom start work before eleven or noon since most weekday mornings I do yoga or step class at the gym. Despite the late start, I usually write 4 - 5 hours each day. If you are reading this and thinking "Boy, she's got it made. I only WISH I had that kind of time to exercise and write," you'd be right. But here's the thing: I didn't always have it so easy.

When I first started to write--more than twenty years ago--I worked full-time as an elementary school librarian and was a mom with a newborn and a toddler. I considered it a good writing week when I could scrape together 1 or 2 hours a few times a week during nap times, after the kids were in bed, or on weekends. I envied those writers who didn't have to work at outside jobs, and whose time seemed more their own.

Having lived through those exhausting, yet exhilarating years, I have something I want to say to those of you currently trying to find time to write while grappling with the demands of family and outside jobs: You, too, will live through this and come out the other side.

I say this in hindsight, of course. Because, just like you, I was often frazzled during those early years of writing, working another job, and being a mommy. But I'm here to tell you that there is light at the end of the tunnel! For now, it's enough to give to your writing the few hours you can spare. Even just a few hours of writing per week will add up to a book if you keep at it day after day, week after week, month after month. And though you'll undoubtedly suffer through numerous rejections of your work--I know I did (and still do)--if you persevere, your writing will improve, and someday you WILL get published. In the meantime, do whatever writing you can each day and week, enjoy your children, try not to get too discouraged by the inevitable rejection slips, and be grateful for all the small wonders and joys we experience every day, but sometimes forget to take note of.

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