Monday, June 6, 2011

Carving Out Time

Whether you stay at home or work outside the home, finding the time to write can be similar to shaving your legs in the dark.  Both are difficult and one can be dangerous.  The demands on our time come from everywhere.  Whether it's spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, other family members, neighbors, friends, (taking a breath) or from jobs, bosses, or employees, women are constantly at the mercy of someone or something.  With apologies to Mick and the rest of the Stones, time is not always in our side.

I chuckle and moan at the stereotype of writers--mostly depicted as male--sitting at their typewriter/computer, pipe at the ready, brow furrowed as their minds spin the tales.  No one bothers them.  Once inside the inner sanctum of their writing space, they are oblivious to the world outside.  Children, if present in the home, are shushed by a wife, who dubiously eyes the closed door, knowing Writer cannot be distrubed.  Whether Writer spends all day in his private space or whether it occurs after regular working hours, he has no worry that someone would dare to invade his time for creating.  If depicted as female, the writer stretches supine in a fluttery negligee on a velvet sofa, eating bonbons and dictating words to a prim, proper, and bespectacled assistant.  Oh, my!  Honestly, I don't think I'd enjoy even trying that one. ☺

Those of us who actually do write know the above description isn't only silly, it's downright criminal and untrue.  But the fact is that because we are women (mostly, at least in the romance category), we're clever enough to beat the odds.  No matter what it is we need, we'll find a way to find it, even if it means a little less sleep.

So how does one carve out even a small wedge of time?  The tried and true include getting up an hour or more early, which works for morning people.  Staying up a little later at night works for nightowls.  Writing during the kids' soccer or dance or swimming practice rewards us with time.  I've been known to have some of my best ideas while sitting in the car waiting for school to be out for the grandkids, and I've definitely taken advantage of it...even in the backs of receipts.

We're a flexible lot, even though I have no doubt I couldn't touch my toes if I was offered a RITA for doing it.  We find time here, there, and anywhere, even if it's only ten or fifteen minutes.  Sometimes I'm amazed at how much I can do in those small spaces of time

Sometimes it can all come down to one simple thing.  How much are you willing to give up?  Are you willing to give up one TV show a week?  What about two TV shows?  Think hard.  Is there something you do that you might give up even a little to have that extra time to write?  It might be worth it to give it a try.  After all, if it doesn't, you can always go back to the way things were and try something else.

Anything is possible if you believe in it, so believe in yourself.  Remember, if we want to do something strongly enough, we'll find a way.  We are WOMEN!


KRS said...

So well said! I'm writing at night and losing sleep. But that's what naps are for. Also early in the morning. No phone calls or distractions then. Nothing else vying for attention except in my mind. If I can delve into my characters and situations, my mind focuses on them.

Mad Romance Writer aka Rox Delaney said...

You're so right, Karen. Once I'm in the "zone" I'm good to go. Night is the best time for me, and I've found that sharing the youngest g-daughter's nap time can be a blessing.