Taking Writing More Seriously

Besides my family, writing is the most important thing in the world to me. I write because I have to – my mental health depends upon it. =) After a good writing session, I feel more balanced and calm, and I have that sense of accomplishment that tells me I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing. My characters are sated for a while, pleased at having been given some much-deserved attention, and less grumpy characters means a less grumpy me.

Why, then, does writing always take a backseat to everything else in my life? Why do I insist on only squeezing in a few minutes “when I have time?” Something that means this much to me should have more of a spotlight, right?

Sometimes it’s guilt that keeps me from writing – guilt over not spending time with my family, guilt over not tackling the mountain of laundry I trek over every time I walk through the hallway, guilt over leaving my son with my husband all day long. So much guilt. Over what? Having a passion? Following a dream? Terrible.

And so, along with reworking my novel, I’m also reassessing my goals and habits. I’ve heard over and over that it’s not about finding time to write, it’s about making time. Making sacrifices. I have a better understanding now of the sacrifices I will have to make to pursue my writing career, and I’m ready to deal with them. I’ve assigned myself writing time six days a week, allowing myself an “off” day strictly for family. I’ve announced my writing time to my husband, and I’m enforcing it. I was able to carve two hours out of each day in between my work shifts – and during that time I lock myself up in my bedroom and write. I may even need to put up a Do Not Disturb sign, since I still get frequent visits from my guys. If that’s what it takes, then I’ll do it. I will protect my writing time. It’s time to take my writing more seriously.

Along the same lines, cracking down on my writing also means keeping up with the blog. I’m not exactly the most diligent blogger, as evidenced by the once-a-month posts. I think I can handle once a week, hmm? =)

One thing I’m having trouble with is balancing the work on my novel with writing short stories. I love writing short stories as well, and would like to start sending them in again to Dreamspinner Press for publication into their anthologies and advent calendars. With just two hours a day to write though, it’s hard to designate time to work on short stories when I’ve got a novel to finish. This may be where more of those sacrifices come into play… I do covet my sleep, but getting up an hour early would give me time in the morning to dedicate to short stories. What the hell, let’s call that a goal, too!

  • Get up early and devote an hour to short story writing.
  • Two hours of writing time every day from 3 – 5 p.m.
  • Post to the blog at least once a week.

Now maybe one day I’ll tackle exercise… >.<

~B

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