Although the new year isn’t quite, well, new any more, I find myself focused on a particular new year’s resolution. Maybe not a resolution, but more like a goal, to carve out more time in my life for writing. It’s something I love to do, but is somehow the activity I probably spend the least amount of time on compared with all the other activities in my life. So, how to do this? I have heard quite a few writers say that they started their writing careers by working at a full-time job, as I do, and doing their writing on the side. Many of them advise getting up extra early in the morning before the day job to accomplish writing goals. If you’re not willing to sacrifice, maybe the writing life isn’t for you! This sounds wonderful in theory, getting up before the dawn, sitting in your writer’s nook, maybe next to a roaring fire, sipping a hot mug of coffee or tea while gazing out the window at a beautiful sunrise, the house otherwise quiet and peaceful as the other inhabitants snooze away.
But for someone who begins the work day at around 7:00 or 7:30 a.m., that’s awfully early! Is it that I’m not serious enough about my writing if I don’t get up at 5:00 a.m. or, dare I even say it, 4:00 a.m., as some ambitious folks I’ve talked to make it a practice of doing?
There’s also the option of writing at the end of each day after work. I’m sure you know the excuses here - too tired, mind not fresh, need to run errands, need to make dinner, etc., etc. Another plan might be to catch up on writing during the weekend.
But what about those other things that sneak up on you and gum up the works, like family and friends,
cats can certainly be a distraction,
and I can’t think of how that trip to the Jelly Belly Factory could have been avoided.
But a trip to a mystery convention is an acceptable distraction, right?
Then there’s the daily minutia of cleaning the house, cooking, washing dishes and clothes, exercising, learning another language online, not to mention Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogger, Tumbler, the list could go on forever, all lurking right there on your computer where you should be writing!
I know the majority of writers face these very same issues daily, so this is not an original problem, although everyone finds different ways to work writing into their lives if they love it enough. And after writing this post, I may have figured out a few things I’m willing to give up - it’s gonna have to be hours of sleep!
Angela Crider Neary is an attorney by day and writer by night. She is an avid mystery reader and especially enjoys reading novels set in interesting locales. She was inspired to write her first mystery novella, Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau: The Case of the Parrots Desaparecidos, by one of her favorite areas in San Francisco, Telegraph Hill. To learn more, visit her on Facebook and Amazon.