making time for writing

The Urge to Write: Finding the Time

If you write for a living or – like I do – as a hobby, do you often find yourself struggling to fit in the time? I do, and it can be quite frustrating.

Working a full time job takes most of a person’s energy. It’s so easy to come home from a long day at work and veg out in front of the television or any number of little electronic screens. So many days, the Muse will nudge me to write a little. Just a little. But my body and my spirit do not want to budge.

How do I deal with the urge to write in the midst of exhaustion?

It’s not always an easy thing to answer.

Lately, I have had three novels stewing and brewing in the back of my consciousness. These are stories I’ve planned to write for a very long time. One of them came to me in a dream last year. The others are from ideas conjured up in my head back about 25 years ago.

The problem I’ve had, it seems, is that I have no desire to sit in front of a computer after working in front of one for eight hours a day.

So, instead of writing, I’ve spent a good deal of my time recently reading books by other novelists. Some are classic, some are contemporary, but all are well-written stories that have captured my imagination. They gave me a spark and have inspired me to put something down on paper.

Anything.

So, just last night, I did that very thing.

After my shower, I grabbed a notebook and pen and started scripting out the plot of the dream story.

(It has a title, “Beyond the Blue,” and should be out by the end of the year if all goes well.)

Surprisingly, the fifteen minutes I carved out of my before-bedtime hour yielded a wealth of material from which to work. My scribbles started with one stumbling block after another, blocks I had not noticed until last night.

Questions started forming in my mind:

  1. What is the plot of the book?
  2. You know the dream you had. How are you going to expound on this?
  3. Who are your characters?
  4. You have your protagonist fully fleshed out. Who is the antagonist?

These are questions I had yet to answer. The information flowed from the pen and in a short time I had four handwritten sheets of paper.

Afterward, I laid my head down on the pillow and turned out the light. I felt in some way lighter and focused. Sleep came easy.

I knew I was on my way with this new book.

When I was in the process of writing Velvet, weeks went by where not one word was written. I’d hit the proverbial “wall.” No way out, no idea where to go next. And it was during those times I would read books. Somehow, the act of reading another’s words helped open up my storyline and give me the clarity I’d been seeking.

When you are too close to your project, or you feel in some way unable to write, try reading a book. Anything, fiction or nonfiction, seems to help me get my creative juices flowing. Maybe it will work for you, too.

How do you find time, or make the time, to write? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Photo credit: SelfPublish StreetLib