I don’t think there’s any special trick to this, it’s just a matter of priorities. For me, I only write on my days off of paid work. I have long hours at work, so I get three days off instead of two. I don’t write on work days because to write before work would mean that I would have to wake up and about four in the morning. And I don’t write after work because that would mean I would have to stay awake until about midnight. I’m not a college kid anymore, I can’t function with just four hours of sleep.
That being said, even on my off days, sometimes I still don’t write. It’s not that I don’t want to write, or that I don’t understand that it’s important to get some writing done whenever you have a chance. It’s just on some days there are things that are a bit more important. I can almost hear it, writers across the globe are clutching their chests and gasping at my last words. But really, there are somethings that are more important than writing. Sometimes I just have to take a day off to check in with reality.
For example, this passed month my mom had a pace-maker put in. I took a few days off of writing for that. No, I’m not a surgeon, and I completely understand that if anything went wrong there really wouldn’t be anything that I could do to help the situation. But still, a machine was put into my mom’s chest to keep her heart beating. I just thought I should be somewhere more present than holed up in my writing burrow.
And guess what, I don’t feel the tiniest bit of regret for that time off. Once my mom was out of the hospital and feeling better, I went right back to writing. I didn’t try to write extra to make up for the missing days. I didn’t really worry about word count.
Because, sometimes life happens and the more you live it the better your writing will be any way.
So, how do I make time for writing? Easy, when I wake up in the morning I think of what’s most important to me on that day. Sometimes writing wins. Sometimes it doesn’t. And both help me improve my writing.
What ways do you improve your writing with out actually writing? I’d love to hear about it, please leave a comment in the area below.