I sit in my car, waiting for my husband to come out of the store. My eyes are closed-- seatbelt still strapped across my waist. My hand feels the silky smoothness of the strap. I recognize what it is. My youngest daughter's breath slows down, becomes louder, more methodical. She sleeps peacefully. My eldest shuffles the pages of her book. She reads quietly. My mind quickly identifies all it senses and I marvel at the complexity of the human body. I am amazed at how easy the mind and senses come together to identify all that surrounds us.
Wouldn't it be nice if writing were as easy as living and breathing? Not to say it never is, but the words do not always come flowing from the fingertips like the blood that circulates our bodies. Things get in our way and impede the writing process. What are our distractions?
At times, merely living gets in our way. We are busy people. Many have jobs to go to and families to raise. My job is at home maintaining a household and raising children. I love it. There is nothing in my life I enjoy more, but it definitely makes carving out time for writing difficult.
Juggling household chores and the demands of parenting are hard enough in themselves, but adding writing to the mix really steps things up a bit. I admit that I have not yet mastered time management, but there is one thing that consistently works for me. I write when my three-year-old naps. I never do anything else during this time and it allows me at least two good hours in the afternoon to work on my writing projects. It is a productive time for me.
Another big distraction in my life is--you are never going to believe this one--the internet. It is not unusual for me to turn my laptop on with the intent of working on an article, but first I think, "Well, I will just check my email real quick." I check my email, find a neat link to an interesting website, check it out, and that one leads me to another. Then I figure I may as well see if any posts were made to my favorite blogs, and before you know it an hour has gone by. An hour I could have spent writing!
A couple of things have helped me in this area. I only allow myself so much time a day to do all that fun stuff. I take a look at my schedule and determine when I should read those blogs, and then stick to it. Ok, so I get a little ADHD sometimes and I don't always stick to it, but I try. I find that when I do, my writing time becomes more productive.
Another thing I do--especially when I have a project looming--is turn the internet off. I make sure my research is done so I don't need it anymore, and then apply myself. I get into the project and before I know it I am nearly done.
Many things get in our way, but many things can be done to overcome the obstacles. And it's true that some days will be more productive than others, but we must keep at it. Keep those fingers typing. Eventually they've got to work with your mind in the same way that your senses do; working in coalition to write a masterpiece. Right?