With kids, work and a hubbie, finding time to write is always – always – tricky. You need to design a garden for your homework? Ok. Got a swim class tonight? I’m on it. Deadline approaching and an empty database? I’m there. Fancy a cheeky Saturday night drink? Yes please. Want to finish that short story? Sorry, no time.
Writing always seems to be the first thing
bumped down the list of priorities. I can see why sometimes this has to be the case – the kids’ needs are paramount and have to come first. I might not be arsed to brush the dolly’s hair again and tie it in plaits, and I might not be that fussed about watching the boy battle Darth Vader on his DS – but I’m a mum. The ideas, metaphors, phrases swirling around my head just have to wait while I get the tea on and wipe another snotty nose. Luckily, later, when the kids are in bed, Hubbie is very supportive and doesn’t mind if I’m ignoring him and rushing to get things down on paper. Occasionally, though, he’s had enough, and demands conversation. As I do to him if he’s spent too long on the internet.
These are all valid reasons for postponing the act of putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). However, there are occasions when it is not ok for my writing time to be swallowed up by something else. Housework, for example. I resent giving up my writing time for that little joy. Yes, it is lovely to sit in a dust-free living room and not to stumble over wet towels in the bathroom. But it is also lovely to sit in the dining room, in peace, just me and the laptop and a head full of ideas.
The nicest thing anyone can do for a writer – apart from praise their kids – is to give them the gift of time. A half hour away from the dishes to bang some ideas down on paper, the odd half a day in a library, or a weekend free to patter away on the keyboard – these are gifts that any writer would appreciate, even those able to make a living from their work.
What’s it like for you other writers out there? What tips can you provide to free up some spare time in the day? What timesaving device can you not do without or would most like to have? Let me know using the comment section below.