Tuesday, April 26, 2011

M-O-T-I-V-A-T-E, Find Out What it Means to Me

Lately, the motivation to write has been lacking, which is frustrating, to say the least.  I have a plot in mind.  I have characters who are coming alive in my mind.  But lately, we're all in a waiting pattern, and life is a busy airport.  Between my day job as a teacher with all its necessary planning, grading, meeting, and lessons, my counseling internship with its daily meetings and paperwork, my home responsibilties (clean clothes and dishes are so overrated), my motherly duties (food prep, homework guru, storyteller, calendar checker, and so many other crazy tasks I never saw on the job description), and my husband would like to sit down with his wife at least once a day.  So what goes by the wayside?  Yep, you guessed it, the writing time.

Scott Eagan tried to enforce the idea that the writers who make it are the ones that make writing a priority.  They're the ones that make it clear to their friends and family how important writing is to them.  He even suggested setting aside at least three hours each day for writing.  Three hours?  I don't have three hours to rub together (or something like that).  I'm time poor currently.

So how do we stay motivated?  How do we keep moving forward on the WIP without feeling like we're stealing time from so many other important things?  What are your best time management tips?  What works for you?  I'm interested to know.

Happy Writing!


  1. I kept reading about how having a specific time in the day that you could dedicate every single day to writing was very useful so a few months ago I decided that the time after work and shower but before making dinner would be that time...

    But then I kept getting hungry so I moved it to after dinner...

    But then'd sit down and check email and prep lunch for the next day and finish laundry or dishes or want to sit out in the sun on my balcony and play the flute and clearly this wasn't working out.

    so I moved my writing time in the other direction. It just so happened that I was waking up a half hour before my alarm (grr) so I decided to take advantage. I set my alarm a half hour earlier, got up, went pee, then sat down and wrote. I managed to sit there for a good twenty minutes and just pour out my brain (since I'd been not writing for a week) before I had to get up and make breakfast or risk starvation.

    I haven't set my alarm back to 'normal' yet and it's been two months. I get up, I make breakfast, I sit with it at my computer and write for 20/30/40 minutes. No talking. No music. Not much thinking either because it's o'dark thirty in the morning. but I'm writing.

    My punctuation is suffering, but that's what editing is for, right?

    This has only backfired once. I neglected to turn my blackberry from 'day' to 'sleep' and an email woke me up at three in the morning. I got up, made breakfast, sat down to write, couldn't keep my eyes open to save my life, realized it was almost the previous day and went back to bed. ... then got up with my alarm (still black outside but I checked the time) and wrote. good news: breakfast was ready!

  2. I go through times of life when I'm so busy that my writing suffers. It sounds like you're in one of those--a season, not something that will last forever. Like Tami, the only way I get writing in is if I get up early, go straight to my desk, and pour out words. I may not be the most awake, but I'm also not distracted yet by all the busy-ness and to-dos of the day.

    Of course, it worked so well that I then tried getting up earlier...which didn't work at all. I envy those writers who can exist on four hours of sleep, but I'm definitely not one of them!

    Good luck finding a way to fit a bit of writing into your full schedule! Hopefully with summer, your schedule will free up a bit :)

  3. I'm a night owl by nature, so I do all my life-related things before the kids go to bed. Hubby and I have our own time at dinner, since the kids eat faster (and a lot less) than we do. Once the kids are asleep, hubby can do his vegetating in front of the TV and I can write. Once a week or more, we have a movie night, where we spend the evening together, and the weekends are usually all together as a family, even if that means cleaning the house. I can do a writing sprint for an hour or two from 9-11, and be in bed at a decent hour to get up and start all over again. If anything cuts into my writing time, it's my blog posts. LOL I never realized how much time they sucked.

  4. What a great response. Thanks, ladies for sharing your own situations. I would like to be able to get up early, but the truth is lately, I already do.

    Cheryl, I agree that this is just a season, and I'm looking forward to summer for many reasons--time to write being one of them.

  5. The only way I've ever been able to be consistent about writing is to write 5:am-7:00am - but I'm inconsistent about doing that! My children are adults now and I still don't find it easy to make the time. As a wife and mother with children at home, working and studying, you have such a busy life; don't be too hard on yourself. Grab what time you can and know your day will come.