Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writing with distractions

As a mom of two young boys and a baby on the way, with a part time job, and my other "jobs" (housekeeper, chef, laundress, etc.), life is busy. I often get asked how I make time for writing. The way I get asked this varies from, "Wow, how do you fit writing in?" to "Boy, I wish I had time to write. That must be so nice." Ha ha. Ha. Cue my attempt to not appear annoyed. I have to make time for writing by sacrificing other stuff--TV, movies, sometimes the organization of my house, sleep... you know. The usual. I've posted about this before. I've also gotten good at multitasking. Thinking about plot stuff or my latest revision notes while making dinner or doing the dishes. Writing on my laptop while the kids play. Stuff like that.

Many of you are in the same boat, trying to write with young families, and some of you aren't.

Everyone is busy though, in their own ways. Everyone has distractions. Yours might not be miniature humans who require constant supervision, entertainment, feeding, cleaning, and care. But everyone has something (or many things) that could keep them from finding the time to write.

What are your distractions? And how do you make time to write?

11 comments:

Janet Johnson said...

My distractions are hauntingly identical to yours (though baby is here, not on the way). I agree with you. You make time for what's important to you. I rarely watch movies. Plot while doing other things, and keep a pen and paper nearby at all times. Then I stay up late. But who needs sleep? Right?

Shari said...

There's the house, the phone, family, e-mail, random thoughts of things to google, the list could go on and on. So, you are exactly correct--you make time to write and often multi-task while doing it.

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

I have most of the same distractions you do. 3 small kids. A house. A husband. I have a laptop with a keyboard that sits on my lap, so that I can write when I have a baby to hold. It's most of the only time I find, but I make it.

Ruth said...

Very similar to yours. 4 miniature humans (ha, funny) and one grown-up one (Aka, hubby) and all the things that go along with making sure they are happy. Right now I only have time to write at night and even though half of what I write is nonsense because I'm so tired I can't think, I'll take it.

Angie said...

I have little kids too. And older ones that need to be shuttled to all their activities. And my church calling (R.S.presidency), and etc., etc., etc. You are so right. If I don't make the time, the writing just doesn't happen.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Two little guys are my biggest distractions.I usually either stay up late or get up early to get writing done. They usually nap at the same time (which is awesome!) but I don't usually get much writing done then because of household chores. There just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done, but I try!

Hillary said...

Besides the distractions of kids, I get distracted by my other interests like gardening, feverishly painting over the beige walls in my house, or deciding I need to exercise. I'm discovering I really have to be a more scheduled person than I usually am. =P

Mary Ann said...

Even grown-up children who have moved out require a lot of time. I average about 3 hours a day talking with or helping out 5 children + spouses x 13 grandchildren. So don't think someday it will end. I made them a priority, so my time is well spent there. Then the household things, church responsibilities and jobs take their toll in addition. Writing is what I do for me. Recently, I went from setting time spent goals to tangible results type goals (6-8 hours a day spent vs 10 pages a day written). What a difference! The important thing is to enjoy the journey.

Jessica Lei said...

I don't watch TV or movies. I don't really have time to do anything like that, including housework. I haven't done my laundry in weeks (thankfully I have a LOT of clothes, so I don't need to). I usually fit in writing when I should be sleeping, or when I should be doing homework. But I never feel guilty!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

So true! Few people have the luxury of so much free time that they can watch all their movies and shows and hang out at the mall and then write on top of that. Usually, writing will have to take the place of something else if it's going to be done. Which is why I watch such little TV...and get so little sleep. And why my bed doesn't get made every day. Something's gotta give.

Janiel Miller said...

I am fortyblahblah years old, and have done this every kind of wrong way in the past. I find that what works best now is if 1) I'm willing to drop things that don't matter that much so I have the time. And 2) I do first things first. My family comes first. If I keep them as my top priority-especially in my head--then not only do I find the time to write, but I write more effectively and efficiently because I'm not distracted or anxious, and the kids have been taken care of and don't try to get my attention every second.

Granted, my kids are older now, and that helps. But if their needs are met then it is easier for them to be willing to help me meet mine.

I know it is harder with younger kids. I remember. :) I still think this helps. Maybe you could do what Shannon Hale does: hire someone to watch the kids for an hour a day, or a few hours a week. I have a friend whose husband gives her a night off from the kids every week, and she just takes off and writes.

I didn't know you had a part-time job on top of all this. Sheesh, woman! Although I maintain that the busiest people get the most done. They're in a groove, you know?

Go you. You're amazing.