Most of us know what it’s like to juggle our writing (or any other creative endeavor), a job, family, household management and chores, pets, friends, writing groups and/or classes, etc…. Oh, yeah, and sleep! It can be a real struggle to find time to just sit down and write without distractions pulling our attention away from what we’re trying to do. I am ADHD so that makes it even more fun. All I can tell you is, don’t let anything stop you from creating your masterpiece. Of course, I know that’s so much easier said than done. I personally let life get in the way of my dream for almost 10 years. I started my novel, Rapture, and shortly thereafter, my life became about my parents’ Alzheimer’s, my husband’s and my health issues, work and general distractions that I used as excuses to not write. I let Rapture sit unfinished for all of those years even though being a published author was my lifelong dream. Part of it, I suppose, had to do with my insecurities and doubts about my writing ability. If I never finished it, it couldn’t be rejected…I couldn’t be rejected. All of that was in spite of Rapture being optioned by a publisher at 1 point and a producer of web series wanting to turn it into a series. You’d think that would be enough to convince me that I can actually write…but it wasn’t. Creative people’s brains seem to work differently than the brains of others. We want nothing more than for our work to be acknowledged yet we find reason after reason to not put it out there to be acknowledged. We doubt our abilities and talents even though others have told us that we are as good as we sometimes think we are. We find reasons to not write while the frustration of not writing builds inside of us. Sometimes that is enough to make us write. Other times there is a spark of some sort that sets off a frenzy of creativity. For me, that spark was SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy). I joined Succulent Wild World and I felt the old stirrings that set the writing of Rapture in motion. Then she told me that I should definitely sign up for her Rhapsody of Writing incubator where she will mentor us for 3 months. I signed up and then the last step was submitting a writing sample. I panicked. Should I submit a poem, an essay or an excerpt of Rapture? Then my fears/doubts began to run wild…they’ll hate it, it’s not serious writing like the other people will submit, etc…. But I copied and pasted the Rapture excerpt then hit send. What was I thinking? That was stupid! They’ll never want me after reading that. I don’t have time right now for ROW or writing. If I get in, all the other writers will hate it. And so on and so forth. Sound familiar? I can sit here and tell you to get up earlier and get your writing done before your day begins. Or stay up a little later. Or to write on your breaks and lunch hour at work. Or get off of Facebook or Instagram. Or stop playing Candy Crush or Trivia Crack (my own personal addiction). As far as the getting up earlier or staying up later is concerned…I can’t do either. I have 3 major sleep disorders and take meds to keep me awake, put me to sleep and to keep me asleep. My neurologist has worked for years to find the right cocktail of drugs and to get me on a schedule that minimizes the effects of the disorders. I am admittedly somewhat addicted to Facebook and Trivia Crack so that’s something I can stop doing or at least cut down on the time I spend doing both in order to fit more writing into my life. I can leave work on time rather than spend another hour or so working on something that can wait until tomorrow. And when I do get home from work, instead of turning on the TV I could take a little time to decompress from work and spend some time with my husband then head to my writing room. I have just found at least a couple of hours to write. For the next week, really pay attention to how you spend your time and keep track of it. I promise you that there are things that you’re doing on a daily basis that can be completely cut out, rearranged, streamlined, etc…, in order for you to find the time to write. We all have different schedules and responsibilities so there is no single answer that will fit all of our situations. And, honestly, I’m figuring all of this out on the fly so I have very few concrete answers for you. All I do know is that we have to write…it’s a part of our soul, heart and being…so we have to make the time. And, even when you’ve found the time, there are always unexpected things that come up…family emergencies, health issues, work crises, etc…, that will sometimes demand your full attention and there’s very little that you can do about that. All I can tell you is to always carry a notebook with you everywhere so that when you have a moment and inspiration strikes, you can jot it down and use it later. We have to learn to find those moments in our lives because writing even 1 sentence is better than writing nothing.
“Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by those doing it.” ~ James Baldwin