Between homeschooling, working from home, and regular life stuff, fitting in time for writing is definitely a challenge. Given how many times I’ve seen other writers ask for advice on juggling work, home life, and writing, I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with this!
I’ve seen a lot of advice that starts with something along the lines of, “If something is important to you then you will make the time for it.” That’s true, but the question we need to ask ourselves is whether writing should be the most important thing.
I want my relationship with my husband and my relationships with my kids to last. In order for that to happen, they can’t constantly be at the bottom of my priority list. My kids’ educations are high on my priority list, so writing can’t take precedence over homeschooling. Work projects and deadlines are another thing I can’t sacrifice in favor of more writing time. While I don’t love doing laundry, it’s still gotta be done! Even if I’d rather be writing…
It can be frustrating when it seems like all of these other things are “interfering” with my ability to write. That’s when I need to give myself a reality check. In ten years my life situation will look radically different and it’s entirely possible that I’ll have the luxury of extra writing time.
Sometimes you’re in a season where other priorities have to take up most of your time, and that’s OK! If you’re in a season with little time to devote to writing, make peace with that and take advantage of the time you can devote to it. Ask yourself if you’d really choose to have a published book on your shelf if it meant that you’d lost relationships with your family in order to get it there. Personally, I want my family to be celebrating each publishing milestone with me.
I wish I could give you a foolproof method for making a little time for writing in your schedule, but the truth is that what works for me may not work for you. What used to work for me no longer works because my life situation has changed! When the kids were tiny, nap time gave me a chance to write, and so did early bedtimes. These days, my kids don’t nap, and some of them can outlast me when it comes to bedtime! Weekdays are full of school and work stuff, and by the end of the day I’m usually out of brain power for writing. Weekends are when I get the most writing done now. The kids are older and I can tell them that I need a couple of hours to focus on a project and not have to worry about them getting into too much trouble!
I’ve tried a lot of different ideas, and found that short bursts of a few minutes of writing just don’t work for me. I need to have some solid, focused time in the form of an hour or more to be truly productive. That’s what works for me, but maybe the 10 minute bursts of time would work for you. Try everything. Try the 10 minute bursts. Try an hour in the early morning. Try marathon writing sessions when everyone else is out of the house or otherwise occupied. Try any idea you come across and see if it works for you. Keep in mind that your life situation will change at some point, and that may mean changing the way you make time for writing.
What works for you? How do you make time for writing in amongst everything else in life? How has it changed over the years?