Finding the Time to Write
Guest Post by Donna Small
Admittedly, writing can be difficult. Not only is this field flooded with rejection (I for one can wallpaper a room with the amount of rejection letters I have received), but simply finding the time to complete an article or a short story, let alone a novel, can be a challenge. For many of us, there is an overwhelming amount of distractions each and every day. Distractions that scream for our attention, making it a challenge, to say the least, to actually sit and put pen to paper. And forget about creating something you can be proud of.
As a mother of two, there are days when I have difficulty finding the time to shower, never mind finding the time to sit down and write a chapter or two. But, I firmly believe, if something is important, you will somehow manage to find the time for it. That means fitting in your writing whenever you can.
Right now, my youngest daughter is playing the Wii. She’s engrossed, staring at the screen, and talking to herself while she whips a controller around. Honestly, I’m not even sure what game she’s playing. But, the important thing is, she’s occupied with something other than me. A rare blessing, if you ask me.
I may have ten, even twenty minutes before she needs something. That means, I have time to scribble a few words down, finish a chapter in my novel, or write an article. The point is, I’ve been given this gift of a few unexpected minutes. So, I will whip out my laptop and see if I can get a decent sentence on the page. With any luck, I’ll complete a paragraph.
The lesson here? Find the time to write whenever you can. This might involve getting up a few minutes before the household wakes. Or while the kids are watching their favorite show. How about while they are outside riding bikes for a few minutes? Personally, I encourage my children to invite a friend over. I have found they are like dogs – when they’re in a pack, they tend to entertain themselves. I might have to feed all of them but getting an hour or two to myself is well worth the price of a few boxes of macaroni and cheese.
It seems like there are so many of us who feel that unless we can carve out two or more hours in the day to sit down and completely focus on our writing, we don’t even start. We’re defeated before we even begin! Even ten minutes is enough time to do something. You may be writing something and need to check its validity. Take those then minutes to research the answer on the web. Often while Googling, I will see a word or picture that will strike my fancy, prompting yet something else I want to write about. Ten minutes well worth my time.
Perhaps you were in the middle of a some tough dialougue the last time you left your computer. With the ten minutes you’ve just been given, read the conversation over. A fresh read on it may just prompt you in a new direction. Voila! You’ve completed something that had previously been left hanging. Unsure of the start of new chapter? Take a second look at it. You might decide on the perfect word that will be the springboard for a great turn of events in your novel.
Instead of trying to carve out two or three hours in your day or set a word count that seems unreachable, simple take any time throughout your day you can manage to squeeze out. Those few minutes will add up. Before you know it, those little bits of time will have enabled you to create something you can be proud of.
Donna Small fell in love with the written word a very early age, frequently ignoring her teachers in order to discreetly read a book while hidden behind another student and below the wooden desks in her Catholic School. After graduating from college, she moved to North Carolina and began working in the non-profit world writing business plans, grants and anything that required putting pen to paper, thus proving to her parents that her accounting degree was worthless. She is a former contributor to Yahoo.com and Examiner.com and is the author of the novel, Just Between Friends, which is forthcoming from Second Wind Publishing.
She lives in Clemmons, North Carolina with her husband, two daughters, and their beagle, Charlie, where she is at work on her next novel. You can visit her at donnasmall.com.