A Writer's Bucket and Mop List

Do you have as much time as you want to write? I don't. 

The first thing I want to do when I get up in the morning is write. But there are so many other things to do. Often I don't sit down to do it until nighttime when the dishes are done and the house is quiet.

Throughout my day I dream of having (in order of preference):
  • a nanny (if I still had kids at home)
  • a maid
  • a cook
  • a secretary
  • a research assistant
  • a dedicated media specialist
  • an errand runner
  • a personal trainer
  • a gardener
  • a dog walker
In other words, I wish I had a wife. Wait, I am a wife!

Make Your Life Your Inspiration
An excellent humorist writer friend of mine once told me about challenges her husband faced at his job. About what was going on with each of her three sons. About her own life and lack of time to get everything done.

But, she said, I wouldn't trade my life for anything. If it weren't for the angst in my family I wouldn't have anything to write about.

I've never forgotten her insight. It's a lesson I cherish every day. If I had too much time to write, my need wouldn't be as urgent. I may not be as motivated. I may not have those few hours of pure bliss to look forward to each day.

Once I did nothing but write. My life became so narrow, it sapped any energy I had once had for my writing projects and soon I ran out of ideas. My page was as blank as my life. Create a proper balance in your life and this effort will take care of everything. What if balance isn't possible? Lopsided is good. As long as you take time out each week to work on your writing projects. Though it sometimes seems impossible, eventually you will finish and go after publishing your work.

Gains and Losses
Since recently finishing my first book, I realize I am teetering on the brink of publishing and marketing it and jumping into my next writing project(s) with both feet. Here is the short version of what has happened to my time while writing the book and a scenario that is sure to continue as I endeavor to reach my future writing goals.

  • The many friends and acquaintances I've made that will surely remain a part of my future.
  • The sharpening of my skills.
  • Learning many new things every day.
  • Staying up late and still getting up early.
  • Enjoying the feeling of joy inside at all that writing has given me.
  • The fun it is to share with others.
  • The feeling of accomplishment at completing such a challenging task as writing a book.
  • Looking forward to writing more books, articles and stories.   
  • Keeping a few other interests alive to strive for less lopsidedness and more balance, especially spending time with my family.
  • How much I've grown from reading and learning about different people and subjects and then the growth that has taken place from writing about them.
  • Emotionally I feel I've grown, too, for it seems that understanding our own emotions and others' emotions is part of writing.
  • Being an entertainer.
  • The sheer fun of having an audience!
  • No more time for sewing or photoscrapbooking.
  • Little time for socializing; having to say no to invitations to join clubs, play bridge, loll around the pool, meet a group of ladies for lunch.
  • Miniscule free time to simply curl up with a good book or watch TV, or do nothing.
  • Everything I do has to have a purpose in order to squeak out time to write.
Live a Life of Gratitude
The list of gains is long, losses is short. Good! Like my humorist friend, I wouldn't trade this life for anything. Let us be grateful for the lives we've been given, which have brought us so willingly to the page over and over again. 

I hope you will leave a comment and let us know how you manage to fit writing into your life.

Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 100 articles for adults and children, and six short stories for children. Recently, she completed Joyce Sweeney's online fiction courses, picture book course and mystery and suspense course. She has currently finished her first book, a mystery/ghost story for 8-12 year-olds, and is in the process of publishing it. Follow Linda on Facebook.


Karen Cioffi said...

LOL Linda, I want a 'wife' too (and I'm one also).I don't have kids at home, but I watch my grandsons. And, yes, as difficult as it is at times to get my ghostwriting projects done, I am blessed.

You've made me more conscious of finding the time to work on my own stories!

Linda Wilson said...

I'm so glad, Karen, that you feel inspired for your own stories. Any time you spend on them is worth it even if it's super short. Eventually, you'll finish each and every project!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Erma Bombeck has been a long time favorite. Now I have Linda Wilson. Love your list. Me, too. I'll even take the nanny with grown children. For my aging dog!

Linda Wilson said...

Thank you for such a great comment, Carolyn. Your terrific support is always appreciated. I'm still enjoying your reason for joining the newspaper staff in high school. I think you were right, too. The "boys" who wrote for the school newspaper had lots going for them, and if they were good looking all the better!

Debra Quarles said...

What a great post! Balance is key, but you're right how else would we have things to write about if we didn't have the 'stuff' that makes life interesting and challenging.

Linda Wilson said...

Thanks, Debra. I agree, balance really is the best approach and is an excellent goal.

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