I read Protecting The Work by Lee Laughlin over at Live to Write – Write to Live, and I was about to comment on it. But instead, I thought I’d turn today’s post into a response.
You can read the post by clicking on the post’s name above but the main point was that it can be hard to make time for writing when there are other things going on in your life. The post ended on a question: Is protecting the work easy for you, or is it a challenge?
For me, more often than not, it’s a challenge. When I get down to writing, it usually draws me in for as long as there are no interruptions, but starting is the hardest part. Especially as I continue on towards the end of my edits, it’s somehow getting even harder. I have less chapters to worry about (for now) but I feel there’s much more to do and can’t decide where to start.
Lee said in her post that she realized that she has the powers to protect her work. No one else. It made me see that I have this problem too. I expect others to make time for me to write… which makes no sense, really. It’s my writing, my time, my schedule. It’s hard to sit down and tell other responsibilities you have that “no, I can’t do that because right now I’m writing.” Maybe one reason it’s so hard is because it’s not a professional thing for me.
One way to battle this is scheduling. Life throws all kinds of things at us, and I’m sure we all have other responsibilities as well, but we can give ourselves the time we need to write. We should give us the time. If something comes up, we can occasionally slip from the plan, but not always. Sometimes you have to set different priorities.
I’m a writer because I write. To be able to write, I need time alone with my keyboard and monitor. It doesn’t matter if it’s challenging. I’ll still show up. Sometimes another task requires my attention and I end up with zero progress with my stories. Sometimes the world forgets me and I type away for hours without realizing.
But maybe the challenge is a good thing. I admit I envy those who have a habit of sitting down in the morning, writing for hours and then calling it a day. Still, the fact I keep coming back to writing even though it’s such a challenge at times makes me believe I can do this. November with its NaNo is proof of that. For that month, my first priority is writing. A set amount of words a day, no exceptions (well, there may be a few, but as a rule my day won’t end before I have reached the goal).
Is this a challenge for you? How do you juggle with writing and other responsibilities in your life?