Too Busy to Write? by Wendy Tyson
I’ve met many aspiring writers with wonderful ideas who tell me they wish they had the time to write. When I engage them in a conversation about their schedules, it becomes clear that they – like me – do have the time, but they choose to use that time in other ways. Busy is often a state of mind, one that doesn’t always reflect the reality of our days. Learning that has been the key to persevering, despite setbacks and despite a packed schedule.
I’m the mother of three kids – ten-year-old twin boys and an eighteen-year-old son. I also work full-time as an attorney/legal consultant. Sounds hectic, right? It is. But not so hectic that I can’t make time to write every day. And you can do it, too.
Here are a few tips for fitting writing into your day:
#1 Take a hard look at how you spend your time. I’m the queen of procrastination. When I took an honest look at how I spend my days, I realized that I’d found time for television shows and Internet surfing – and most of the time it was so mindless that I couldn’t tell you afterwards what I watched or read. If you really want to write, you may have to give something else up, but chances are, the time is there for the taking. You’re probably not as busy as you think you are.
#2 Schedule writing sessions – and keep them. Can you write at lunchtime? Early mornings (which is when I write – when my mind is clear and the kids are sleeping)? Evenings? Set a time every day and make it a priority. This works for exercise, and it works for writing as well. Sessions don’t need to be long. Some days I only have 30 minutes to write. But for those 30 minutes, that’s all I do.
#3 Engage friends’ and family support. When you make something a priority, you’re demanding time for yourself. That can be hard. Many of us are used to doing for others around the clock, and asking for “me-time,” especially for something that’s not yet earning income, can feel odd. But if this is something you want - if you, like me, need to write - it’s important to make that priority known. You may be surprised at how encouraging your friends and family will be. My kids love that I write. And now I find them writing plays and stories, too.
#4 Be patient with yourself. Writing is a craft that has to be learned and honed over time. Set realistic goals and remember to enjoy the journey. Rejection is part of the game. Many authors have written multiple novels (myself included) before getting published. Impatience can lead to frustration – and frustration can lead to quitting. Ernest Hemingway said, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
#5 Know when to take a break. We write because we love to write, but there are times when we all need a break. I know I’ve hit that point when whatever story I’m writing feels like a chore. Sometimes I put it away for a few days, weeks or even months to get better perspective. I never stop writing, but I may turn to other projects. And when I’m working against a deadline, I make sure to take time to do unrelated things – playing with my kids, dinner with a friend. To keep your writing fresh, make sure you balance the time in your head with other activities that you enjoy.
As Philadelphia's premier image consultant, Allison Campbell helps others reinvent themselves, but her most successful transformation was her own after a scandal nearly ruined her. Now she moves in a world of powerful executives, wealthy, eccentric ex-wives and twisted ethics.
When Allison's latest Main Line client, the fifteen-year-old Goth daughter of a White House hopeful, is accused of the ritualistic murder of a local divorce attorney, Allison fights to prove her client's innocence when no one else will. But unraveling the truth brings specters from her own past. And in a place where image is everything, the ability to distinguish what's real from the facade may be the only thing that keeps Allison alive.
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Wendy Tyson wrote her first story at age eight and it’s been love ever since. When not writing, Wendy enjoys reading other people’s novels, traveling, hiking, and playing hooky at the beach–and if she can combine all four, even better. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives there again with her husband, three kids and two muses, dogs Molly and Driggs. She and her husband are passionate organic gardeners and have turned their small urban lot into a micro farm. Killer Image is Wendy’s first novel in the Allison Campbell mystery series.
Find Wendy at:
www.WATyson.com and on twitter (www.twitter.com/wendytyson) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/wendytysonauthor).