I’m a busy person. I’m sure you are too, but I mean, I’m a really, really busy person. The only thing I can think of that could make my life more hectic right now is having kids.
right now, thank you.
Because I’m so busy, I know I’ve got to make the most of the
time that I do have, which seems like so little. There are a few things I’ve
figured out to try to stretch those precious moments as far as I can and to get
more words per minute out of my keyboard.
I think of stress as an invading army that your mind has to
fight off. During a siege, my subconscious pulls the drawbridge up and fills
the moat to the brim with crocodile-infested waters to try to protect myself.
So while the enemy – life – is attacking my castle gate, my imagination is
tucked away safely behind sealed doors.
Unfortunately, I’m also locked out of my creative thoughts
at times like this.
The toughest thing about having a life outside of writing is
getting random ideas and not being allowed to address those spurts of inspiration.
And then, by the time you do have time to write, you’re so frazzled from the
day’s events that you could care less.
You need to purge your life every now and then. Find out
what is really still important to you, what still really matters. Humans are
forever changing and growing. Their priorities shift. And that’s fine. That’s
the way God made us.
But what’s not okay is to think that you’re not allowed to
change your mind now and then. It can be totally wrong to chase after a dream
that doesn’t even pull your heart strings any more. That’s why it’s good
practice to stop and evaluate every now and then. Take time to write out a list
Once I learned the trick to getting rid of excess baggage, I
found that I was able to breathe freer and finally allowed myself time to relax
so I could more easily create when I did have time.
You have got to
have a plan.
The best way I can think of to get more creative is to free
yourself of extra obligations.
But it won’t do any good to make a list or figure out what
your priorities are if you have no idea how to act on them.
You need to make a plan and be ready to work for that plan
so you don’t fall into old habits. Set a schedule and make yourself stick to
it, no matter how hard it is. If this recovering procrastinator can overcome
her urge to sleep-in every day, then you can too.
For instance, when I started taking myself serious as a
writer and at the pre-launch of this blog, I forced myself to get up two hours
early every day and write an excess number of evergreen posts. Then I planned
out in what order I would publish those posts.
By doing this, I freed myself creatively from stress so I
could more easily produce quality posts on a deadline each week.
keep in mind that writing is work.
Don’t ever let yourself be fooled into thinking otherwise.
Writing truly is work, plain and simple.
For me, writing is a dragon with which I must do battle
daily. If I sit down every day, face the dragon head on and fight, I have a
chance of winning. But if I don’t write, if I turn my back, the beast will
chase me all day long.
If you are a true writer, your craft cannot and will
absolutely refuse to be put on a back burner. If you try to, like I have before,
the guilt of not writing will slowly wear you down to an emotional pulp.
What are some
ways that you balance your writing and your life outside of the craft?