Good morning, Mysteristas readers! It’s 4:16 AM on a comfortable Southwest Florida Tuesday and I’m just now able to sit and write my blog. The one I’ll be posting and hopefully, you’ll be reading today.
As a writer, the most important tool in the toolbox is not pen, paper, computer, or even the dictionary. The most important tool—coffee. Some writers may scoff at that, but dig deep enough and you’ll find they don’t perk the words without tea or chocolate. In fact, one of our standard interview questions here at Mysteristas is to ask what kind a chocolate a writer’s book would be. Not that we’re obsessed.
Why is this blog so late in the writing? Life. Unless you have the luxury to be a full-time writer you fit your writing day around your day job day. Then there’s family, friends, chores, emergencies, interruptions. It’s easy to get distracted, and sometimes, there is no alternative. Is there a solution? Yes. Maybe. Yes. A lot depends on how you see your writing. For me, it’s a second full-time job. For others, a hobby. Either way, finding the time is hard no matter your best intentions. Here, let me show you.
Monday to Friday my alarm sounds at 2:45 AM. That starts my writing day. I wish I could say I spring from bed filled with ideas, but I’d be lying. I do spend five minutes contemplating the ceiling and planning my morning so I have focus. And sometimes I fall back to sleep until my day job alarm goes off. Hate those days. When that happens, I plan to make it up on the weekend. Hah! Tempt fate why don’t you.
When I do spring out of bed, I boot up the computer, get that first vital cup of coffee, check in on Facebook, mediate, and then start writing. Depending on where I am and what I’m working on, it’s 1,000 words or some plot outline before the day job alarm goes off. I promise myself, I’ll be back at my desk after dinner. Rarely happens. Weekends are devoted to marketing, detailed editing, catching up with friends on e-mail, and spending the lion share of time with family and local friends. Ah, the ideal day/week.
Now for the reality check. Real life does not like plans. In fact, it laughs at them. Last Sunday my computer decided to go on the fritz. My tech skills are limited—log off/log on. When the computer did not miraculously reboot in usable form, I left the heavy computer lifting to hubs and resigned myself to no morning writing time. Mixed emotions, but was nice to sleep in guilt free!
The computer was fixed by Saturday morning. Just in time for an emergency with one of our birds. The nearest avian vet with Saturday hours – a two-hour drive away. By the time we got home, creativity was gone and I needed a nap. The rest of the weekend followed suit, and Super Bowl Sunday meant I didn’t even set the writing alarm Monday morning. Last night after the day job ended, it was travel two hours to pick up the bird so—here I am at 5 AM finishing today’s blog!
Is there a secret to finding the time to write? No. Yes. Maybe. It’s all about scheduling, and then hoping for the best, but being flexible to deal with the worst. Come to think of it, the same is true of the day job. You show up every day, but somedays, life gets in the way. Writers will write, it’s what we do.
Writers, how do you find the time to write and handle life emergencies and interruptions?
Readers, doesn’t this sound familiar, writers do not have a corner on this market!
Chocolate and coffee pictures courtesy of Pixabay