Finding Time to Write

Last week I wrote a bit about my relationship with writing and how I do it. This week I’m admitting that that’s not always the case…

I spoke a lot about routine and how that helped me to commit to writing. But the only way that works is if you stick to the routine, and I’ve not been good at that of late.

I have my excuses, of course, as everyone does. The first was the pregnancy news: that threw me a little and I spent a while unable to think of anything else, plus the tiredness made me just want to crawl back into bed straight after work.

Then came moving house, which, while technically only a tw0 day activity, it did involve a lot of sorting out and tidying for a fair few weeks afterwards – and we’re still not done, the baby’s room still has far too much junk in still to be sorted.

But now my excuses are starting to wear a little thin. The house is pretty much sorted, the pregnancy tiredness is ebbing and I do have some time in the evenings and definitely at the weekends to write. But, since moving house I’ve barely touched my MS and have done minimal amounts of edits.

I do keep telling myself that I’ll do it, but so far it’s not working. I think my only excuse is that, with all my traveling for work, I am pretty exhausted by the time I get home. But I know I could do it if I really tried.

My lovely partner, who is always encouraging me in my writing, even went to Argos a couple of weeks ago and brought me home a desk (and by brought I mean he carried it back by hand as we don’t have a car – he is that lovely). The desk is now built and installed in the nursery and has all my stuff on it just the way I want it, but it’s still not been used for anything writing related.

Also, I am aware that as I’m writing this on a Saturday evening, I should really be writing/editing, rather than writing about not having time to write… the irony s not lost on me.

Does anyone else find they just don’t have time to write, or have enough excuses to ensure they never get round to it? And, more importantly, anyone have any tips to get out of this cycle?!

Me and Writing

When I started blogging again, I decided I wanted to make my blog about more than just reviews – while I enjoyed reading and reviewing books, I wasn’t sure it made interesting reading to be posting review after review after review. Part of the new blog has been about pregnancy, which I find interesting as it’s something that is constantly changing. The other thing I wanted to talk about was writing.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was very young and made my own book out of spare bits of paper (it was a collection of short stories, the only one I can vaguely remember was about a candy floss making machine… I was very young). I’ve written bits on and off since then and have dozens of half started stories and ideas dotted around, but I never really committed to anything.

That was until uni, when I had a lecturer who was very complementary about my work, and a summer in Wales on my own with nothing to do. I ended up writing 80,000 words and almost (almost) finishing a whole YA novel. Unfortunately, I stopped when uni started back up. Also, it was kind of terrible… I know there were some good ideas in there somewhere, but lack of planning made it rambly and a bit naff.

But it was a start, and it showed me something a least: if I tried and actually committed to something, I could do it. That was back in 2010 however, and it wasn’t until last year that I really got properly back into the writing. I have my excuses, of course (uni, work, socialising, the usual) but I know I could have made time if I had tried to.

Fast forward to 2014, and I’ve just graduated from my Masters, moved back to my mom’s house and have no job. A good portion of my time was spent job hunting, but that was pretty depressing, so I made myself have a regular writing routine too, working on yet another idea I’d been playing with for years. It felt good to be doing something productive, especially while everyone else in the house was either at work or school.

Luckily, the unemployment lasted less than a month (I have every sympathy with people struggling for work, looking and failing to find a job every day was really soul destroying). Surprisingly for me, I didn’t drop the writing as soon as I was back at work. Instead, I set word targets for the days and deadlines, and gradually, the story began to come together.

I think that’s the real thing that motivates me when writing: no matter how into the story I am, I need some kind of pressure to get me moving. The real push came when I decided to give a first draft to my partner for Christmas. I’d never shared my work before, and I knew he’d appreciate what that meant. It did mean some frantic writing and editing towards the end, but I managed to get it all written and bound ready for December. Even though it wasn’t actually published, it was an incredible feeling to hold my own book in my hands.

Now I’m on the editing stage, which sometimes feels as soul sucking as job hunting, but more on that another day!