Kathy Grubb, homeschooling mom of five children ages ten and under and author of the 10 Minute Writer blog emailed me with an intriguing proposition:
I would like to feature writers who have mastered, or at least are attempting to master, squeezing in writing around their life. My plan is to give you one question only, require you to write your answer in ten minutes’ time.
A ten minute interview? What could be easier? I was more than happy to oblige. Here was her question:
Q: How do you make time in your day to pursue writing?
My computer clock says 3:03. Here we go…
There are three main things I do that help me make time in my busy days of having three kids ages three and under. They are:
- I think about the subject matter ahead of time: Each morning, I decide whether or not I’m going to write something today. If I decide that I’m going to, I choose a topic so that I can be thinking about it as I go through my day. (For example, I got Kathy’s email a few hours ago and have been thinking about my answer in my occasional down moments like when I change the laundry, put dishes in the dishwasher, clear the table, etc.) That way, when I sit down to write, it doesn’t take long to just put my thoughts down on paper.
- I arrange the kids’ schedules so that I have at least some time to myself each day: The amount of time that I can get to myself fluctuates by the ages of my children, but I so desperately need at least a little bit of quiet time to myself each day (especially since my husband works 12-hour days) that I arrange our entire lives around the kids all taking naps at the same time. On the rare occasions that that doesn’t happen, I’ll go ahead and let whoever is up watch a TV show so that I can get at least get those 30 minutes to be somewhat off-duty.
- I’ve made writing a high priority: I’ve talked about this with my husband a lot, and we’ve decided as a family that it’s worth prioritizing my writing time pretty high, even if it means sacrificing some other things I could be doing with my down time. Writing has borne such great fruits in my life — it makes me feel relaxed, it’s the best stress-reliever I’ve ever found, and I’m even making a tiny bit of money at it now — so it’s worth it to us to make sure that I get regular time to do that. That means that there are things that I’m not as on top of, e.g. I’m perpetually behind on Quicken data entry and email, but the benefits far outweigh the tradeoffs.
My computer clock now says 3:14. One minute over! (I normally would take probably another 5 minutes to go through and edit my answer, so please pardon any incoherent parts.)
Check out the 10 Minute Writer for more great tips about fitting writing into your busy life!
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