Most writers, if not all will agree with me that the biggest challenge in their writing project is not letting their lives boycott their project. Life is definitely a roller-coaster, and honestly, I would not want it any other way. But when we are trying to write and publish a book while juggling family and a day job, the merry-go-round lifestyle prohibits the impossible dream we writers would love to have to be able to finish our project. In my case, I gave up on that dream and began to look for ways to keep writing even during those moments when life kidnapped me from my writing time. However, nothing really worked, because there is no such thing as a secret recipe. Yet, I finished my book, published it, promoted it, and wrote and published my picture book, all while taking care of my household of my husband, two girls and two dogs plus a full-time day job. I still wonder how I was able to do it, and every time I look back, I find only one word to describe what I see: “persistence.”
In reality, our lives change so often, that there is no set plan that will work. Many try to write a set number of words or pages each day. I tried this and was not able to comply with my set number very often. But I kept trying. So, although I could not keep up with the plan, what took me to my finish line, was persistence. In retrospect I realized that I could not control what life threw at me every day. But I could manage my day and write what I could. And so, I did; and still do… Here are some ideas on managing your life while writing.
• Be aware, and mindful of your priorities each day, and create a checklist.
• Don’t overload yourself, there is a set number of hours in a day, and you want to avoid burn out.
• Be flexible on how, where, and how much you write. Keep a notebook and hand write while waiting on your Dr’s waiting room, sitting in traffic, on your lunch break…etc., even if it’s only a couple of lines. There is no sense in waiting for the perfect moment, or the new laptop. Just write!
• Consider reading to be writing time when you find yourself with writing block. When the words don’t come, reading can relax your mind allowing the flow of words again.
• Be kind with yourself, and don’t put yourself down if you skip writing one day…just get back at it the next day!
• Always keep in mind your goal of publishing your book, and keep going in any way, and as long as it takes.
Persistence is the key, so, hang in there and keep at it!