How I Schedule Time to Write
by Sarah Krueger
For 20 years, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. Nearly every moment of every day has been spent with one or more of our five children. We run a pretty tight ship over here. I thrive on a schedule, so my kids do, too. Now that our youngest has joined his brothers and sister in school all day, I finally have time of my own to pursue a dream that I’ve shelved for a very long time.
I want to be a writer.
Like most writers, I have tons of ideas floating around in my head that I have always wanted to write down on paper. Now, I have seven hours of kid-free time to do just that!
Of course I don’t really write for seven hours straight, but I do have more free time than most.
The problem is, once I get started, I don’t want to stop. The laundry starts to pile up, as do the dishes. When the kids get home from school, they gather around me wondering where their afternoon snack is. I hold up my index finger in a silent request to wait, and continue typing. We are having Kraft Mac-n-cheese for dinner. Again.
I hate it when I’m dragged from my creative zone back to reality. Obviously, this can’t continue, if I want to win the “Supermom Award” again this year (someone has to). There has to be balance. So, I did a little research.
Here are three suggestions I learned:
1. Set a timer. Recently, I’ve been reading Joanna Penn’s blog,. Joanna says she uses her iPhone as a timer. She sets it for 90 minutes, then she writes, edits, or works on a specific project for that amount of time. When she worked a full-time job while writing, she says she would get up at 5 a.m. and write for an hour before work.
2. Dictate your chapters. Elle Casey explains that she dictates some of her chapters which fees her from being tied to the computer all day, but allows her to “write” while she’s walking the dog or folding clothes. Then, the next morning, she downloads her dictation into her computer, spends a little time tweaking what she wrote, and she’s done! She puts out a book, on average, every six weeks!
3. Hide yourself away. My neighbor told me he helped build Clive Cussler’s writing studio here in Phoenix. Clive goes in and doesn’t come out until his novel is complete! I’m pretty sure this style won’t work for me, although, I must say, I see the appeal of this approach. As in life, we all need balance in our writing. I think I’ll try setting a timer, but I’ll keep a stock of freezer meals, just in case.
How do you manage your writing time?