Time for Writing

Lately I am having an issue with time.  Okay, so it’s not lately.  It’s a normal state of affairs for me.  Last week, my good friend Trish Wooldridge wrote a great posting about the reality of time – keeping track of the things that take up her time.  It really got me to thinking.  I’m not too concerned about the hours I spend on the kids or daily life stuff right now, but I am concerned with the amount of outside activities that take up the time I am supposed to be writing.

I do a lot of volunteer work.  I am on the Executive Committee of the Jewish Community Center here in Tokyo.  I am on the AUW Japan Support Committee and I also do work with another charity called Friends of Child Protection.  This year I’ve been doing some work with the parents’ group of my kids’ school.  I’m the room-mom for my daughter’s class.  I sing in the synagogue choir. Are you wondering yet why I haven’t gotten around to editing my still-in-first-draft novels?

This has all come to my attention more recently as my son’s swim team season kicked into high gear and I have to participate in his carpool a few times a week also, adding to my already-full schedule.

I seem to have an inability to say no.

Well, the buck stops here.  I cannot continue at the pace of sleeping only six or fewer hours a night and still function.  I cannot let my novels fall by the wayside like they have in the past few months.  If I want to be a serious writer, I have to make a commitment to it and concentrate on it.  Writing has to be my full-time job.

For the past two years I have participated in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November.  It’s one of those contests that everyone who finishes, wins.  The objective is to kick start a novel – write 50,000 words in the month.  That’s right, 50,000 words.  I did it two years in a row by canceling the rest of my life.  I worked on the novel alone.  I left a lot of phone calls and emails unreturned, but my friends and family understood.  My husband took awesome care of our kids on the weekends so I could pump out 3,000 words a day.  Somehow I did it.

There is no way I’m going to exist like that on a regular basis – in a vacuum. But something’s gotta give.  My goal is to spend some time over the next week or so figuring out what exactly I am going to remove from my schedule.   Happiness does not equate to a full schedule. Happiness equates to spending time on the things that make me feel good about myself – including things that make me feel productive.

Stay tuned to see how it all works out.  And wish me luck; this is not an easy task.

2 thoughts on “Time for Writing

  1. Thanks for the link… and I sooo know what you mean about knowing when to say “no!” too! It’s hard… and I don’t even have kids of my own.

    Very, very good luck!

    P.S. Last weeks timing really has seemed to work… but in… a non-overt way? Like, I’m being more attentive to my daily chores and checking time – even as I daydream. I even >gasp< managed to nap for a reasonable time this afternoon and drag my butt awake to get work done before my shift. So… just the fact of paying attention is making results.

    Now… if only food would work that way.

  2. I relate! Of course I don’t think I could express it so well:-) Guess what? about 90 stories came in for you to judge! I fear you may need to wait another couple of weeks before you re-prioritize your life….

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