Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Time--The Enemy of So Many

Most of us moan and groan, whine and wail, about not having time to do what we'd like to do. Grousing about it is the easy part. We have that down pat. Doing something about it is quite another thing.

We've all read articles about ways to give yourself more time. We read them, then go right back to moaning etc. If you really want to have more time for your favorite pastime, in my case, that is writing, then you need to create time. It's not going to work unless your desire to pursue your writing--or anything else you want to do--is greater than your need to give yourself an excuse.

Harsh? Perhaps, or maybe it is just facing reality. I wanted to write for the majority of my life but I didn't do it. I convinced myself I was too busy and that other things in my life needed to take precedence. I must have done a good job as I didn't begin writing until well into my mid-fifties.

Finally, something lacking in my life triggered my writing journey. I stepped onto that path and have stayed on it ever since. I lead a busy life but I do make time to pursue my passion for writing. It's different for those who make a living writing. They have definite job hours but for hobbyist writers like me, we have to make the time or take the time.

I'm a social person who belongs to many women's groups--bridge clubs, a woman's group that promotes education for women, church groups, book club among them. As much as I love them and the people I mingle with in each group, they take away from my writing time. I still benefit from this social part of my life; I even find inspiration for writing from speakers I hear, conversations across the bridge table and more.

Instead of cutting back on all those social events, I cut out other things. I watch very little tv. I do have certain shows that I look forward to each week and football and basketball games, when the teams playing are ones I follow. I spend many evenings, or parts of them, at the computer.

Because of some physical limitations, I don't exercise much which gives me that chunk of time.
I am an early riser which gives me a little more time than Sleepy Susie who doesn't get up until I am midway into my morning.

If I am deep into a writing project, I might give up a social event now and then. I have to weigh the decision carefully, looking to see which one pulls me more.

I'm often writing mentally when I'm cooking or doing housework or grocery shopping. I am sometimes jotting story ideas on a notepad while waiting in the dentist's office or the beauty salon (my hairdresser is rarely on time!) When I'm unloading the dishwasher, I might be working out a better ending for an essay. Multitasking works for writers. Even those writers who are staring out a window might be working like mad in their mind.

Mothers who carpool have time to jot down writing notes while they wait for their kids to get out of school. Same with those who must get kids to a game early and then sit on the bleachers and wait for the game to actually begin. There are many bits and pieces of time that a writer can use to advantage.

The one hint often given in an article on creating time is to get up an hour early or go to bed an hour later. Sounds good to have a whole hour, doesn't it? But that doesn't work for all people. Those who are not morning people don't function very well if they get up sooner than they are ready. And night owls who had yet another hour could be pretty grouchy when the alarm clock goes off at 6 or 7 a.m.

Read those articles about making time but adapt them to your own lifestyle. You know you better than anyone else. If your writer friend cuts out all social events, that doesn't mean you should do it, too. Consider small ways to gain more time in your writing life. Try them. Continue with what works and dump the others. In this respect, as in most all others, we are individuals. Do what works for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment