Finding Time to Write

I’ve probably blogged about this before, but it’s a problem that simply doesn’t go away. I remember when I started writing. I had two preschoolers at that time and finding time to write was a real challenge. My two still remember me telling them if my door was closed, I didn’t want to be interrupted unless there was blood or a bone was sticking out. (Yes, I was a terrible mother, but they did survive.) I wrote when they were playing and after they went to bed. Once they started school, I had more time to write: while my husband was at work and the kids were at school. I did learn I had to quit an hour before they arrived home, especially if I was working on a scene with a lot of conflict, otherwise, the moment my husband or the children came through the door, I was ready to yell at them. I learned to write while watching my son wrestle or play football, while my daughter played softball or took a riding lesson. Any spare moment, I either jotted down notes or edited pages. When I had a job (to pay for those riding lessons, the horses, and horse shows), I actually produced more stories than ever before, but I always thought…just wait until I’m retired.

Well, I’m now retired. Actually, I’ve been retired for over ten years. I should have lots of time to write. Right?

Not so.

Part of the problem is my husband’s also retired, meaning he’s always around, so I don’t have those nice productive blocks of time when I’m alone. Another problem is when you’re retired, you figure you have nothing to do, so you join organization…and suddenly you’re on committees.

I guess the point of this blog is there’s never going to be an ideal time to write. Not when your children are young, not when you have to work and raise a family, and not even when you’re retired. You simply have to find the time to write, and if the story is there, begging to be written, you will find the time.

That’s all for this week. I need to sit down and work on a story that’s begging to be written.

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12 Responses to Finding Time to Write

  1. So true, Maris! I retired eight years ago and started a novel a month after retirement. I’m still working on it. My husband is retired also, and he likes to have the television on all day. And I’m still working part-time, and the grandkids have concerts and sports matches, and…you’re right, there’s no ideal time. I just have to make time.

  2. Mona Karel says:

    And the phone calls! People who figure since they’re retired and you’re retired, you have LOTS of time to talk, on their schedule. ARRRGGHH. Even if they only talk for a few minutes, if you’re writing fantasy or historical, you’re dragged back into the 21st century.

    • MarisMaris says:

      @Mona So true. Non-writers don’t realize how something as simple as “Oh, don’t let me bother you” brings you out of the world you’re creating. And yes, Patricia, I have the same problem with my husband and the TV. What is it about these men who have to turn on the TV as soon as they get up and don’t turn it off until they go to bed? Doesn’t matter if he’s in the same room as the TV or not, it still on. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  3. Anne Stone says:

    Maris,
    Very timely blog for me! I have been using the excuse of “no time” for awhile now. I am hoping retreat will kick me in the butt and kick start my motivation and determination to finish my WIP. Thanks for the inspiring words. See you Saturday.

  4. Diane Burton says:

    Looks like we’re all in the same boat–retired with retired spouses. Quiet times are few and far between. There will never be time to write–make time is the key. Great topic, Maris. One that bears repeating.

  5. I can really relate to your blog today, Maris. And after all these years, I’m still learning to make time. There’s no recipe for it, no editor guideline, no magic potion. I guess ‘determination’ and ‘dedication’ plus ‘tenacity’ could all apply. In my case, there was a bit of ‘clueless’, too, when I started writing. I didn’t have a clue how hard it would be. Sort of like being a parent–you just learn as you go. Loved the blog!

  6. I remember writing late at night, after everyone else went to bed. I’ve always been something of a nightowl, except now it seems sitting down with the laptop at night is a signal to my brain to go to sleep! Maybe that’s the key; I never had a laptop back in the day and had to sit at my desk to use my typewriter and later computer. I did manage to get more writing done when there were more people living my house, I was working, and there were more pets to take care of. What happens??? Weekends are a loss when Tom is home. What will happen when he retires? Oh wait, I think I know the answer to that.

    • MarisMaris says:

      Alas, Lucy, I can tell you what will happen…but I think I’ve already told you. However, if Tom is like Bill, he will want some time away from the house and that will be a blessing for you.

  7. Annette says:

    Hi Maris,
    Love your topic. Real life is always pulling us out of our special universe. How we manage to juggle the two can make or break us as functioning writers. And as you’ve pointed out, sometimes the most “ideal” circumstances can turn out to be the least productive.

    My most recent attempt at turning out stories has been to work in stories I’m having fun with. And, so far, I’m seeing results.

    Keep on writing , Annette

  8. After a six-month writer’s block, I re-assessed my writing goals. After finishing 15 novels in 13 years, publishing one on CreateSpace, I found I couldn’t write. Sure my son was and is facing surgery, but I was comfortable pushing out ten pages a day each morning and then tending to business. Now I’ve scheduled one day a week, to force myself to write a new scene. Last week I wrote my first four pages of a new scene. Fresh from the mind, ready for editing, but accomplished. I’m hoping the MidMichigan Retreat from Harsh Reality will re-inspire me to schedule writing on more than one day a week.

    I do believe if we have a desire to write, we are failing ourselves by writer’s block. Julie Cameron says it is nearly a sin against the creative universe.

    Rohn Federbush

    • MarisMaris says:

      Rohn, the Retreat always inspires me to spend more time with my writing. I hope it does that for you, too. See you there.