Time to Write?

I honestly don’t know how you all find time to write. I’ve been watching the NaNoWriMo participants’ progress with a mixture of jealousy and admiration and wondering how you’re all managing to devote the time required to produce these word counts.

I myself have hardly managed to commit even five minutes to writing anything more than a shopping list for nearly two weeks.

I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.

Two whole weeks of not working on so much as a writing prompt, it’s been hell. I can feel unwritten stories settling in tightly wound, fiery balls in my shoulders. This tension is usually alleviated by tip-tapping on the keyboard but is quickly rebuilt by the growing piles of laundry and dust bunnies collecting around me.

I’ve read much guidance on how to manage your time to fit daily writing into your schedule but I’m still perplexed as to how this can be achieved when real life leaches into those preciously set aside time slots.

Like most people who love to write, I have a job that pays the bills and children who need taking to and from school and all manner of after-school clubs and sports tournaments. Said children also need feeding, washing, providing with clean clothes, quality parental time and help with their homework. Apparently, it’s socially acceptable to live in a house that’s clean, tidy and fully stocked with food and other necessities. But none of this happens on its own. Add to that a good seven or eight hours of sleep a night and a squeezed-in 30 minute run a few times a week and this novice writer is collapsing on the settee at the end of the day.

I realised that in order to allocate daily writing time, I was ignoring one or more of the chores on the list above which was tending to result in the children sneaking illegal Xbox time. Cue mummy guilt and two weeks of feverish catching up.

I had a mad moment of wondering whether I was being selfish stealing back a couple of hours a day to devote to something I love, but I work hard, I think I deserve it. I just need to work smarter to make sure that there are enough hours in the day to fit it all in. If I want to write, I DO have to make time. I have a feeling that this will involve online grocery shopping, copious use of the slow cooker and stalking the tumble dryer as it finishes to hastily fold the clothes before they crease (I loathe ironing!).

Right, now that the ‘not quite good enough mum’ drama is out of the way I can concentrate on rearranging my novel (which I still haven’t done after my blog post telling you how wrong I’d got it), and can start obsessing about the three stone lighter version of me that I saw in a photo today.

If you want me in the next week, I will likely be found under a pile of screwed up outlines eating calorie-negative lettuce.


About Nicola Auckland

Busy wife to one & mum to two. I've caught the creative writing bug, now need to practice, get awesome and write something worth reading. Simples.
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4 Responses to Time to Write?

  1. kamillej2014 says:

    I know what you mean. Very frustrating, but you wrote a blog post and you wrote it well, so in fact, you wrote:)
    Its a constant juggle. Sometimes I think ‘I started writing too early, why couldn’t I have waited till the kids were older?’ But it’s doable. You just need to get super efficient and make sure the stuff you have to do is done first, then writing next. It’s a good incentive to whizz through the mundane stuff.
    Best of luck and keep writing!


  2. Marcus Case says:

    The problem with our lives, of course, is they tend to get in the way. I had to wait a very long time before I managed to carve out some writing space for myself. Our dreams don’t go away if we hold on to them tightly enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laitie says:

    I just have to comment on one thing. Don’t you dare let your kids guilt you because you took time to write. You’re an adult. Writing is a passion. You have no time to yourself as it is. They have time with their friends, doing what they like to do, doing their “passions.” You hardly have any time doing anything you like to do. Most of the time, you’re taking care of them and their “passions.” Making their lives good and easier. Being a good mom. Not only do you deserve time to write, they owe it to you. So there. Yes, writing for you, no Xbox for them.


    • Hi Laitie,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      I think mummy guilt is a built-in default setting! You spend years devoting every waking hour to your babies that when they don’t need the whole 24hrs you feel guilty about taking some of it back!

      I’m learning though 🙂

      Nicola x


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