It’s Time to Make Time

Question: You’re busy. How do you make time to write?

I’m not typically a betting person, but I bet I can guess something about you right now. You’re busy. In fact, sometimes the hours go by, you look up, and you wonder where the day went.

Am I right? Am I close?

How did I know? Because most of us are busy. We have calendars bursting at the seams with all the things we need to do and all the things we want to do and all the things we hope to do.

I’m glad to know I’m not alone in my busyness. My husband and I have two little girls who are nine and seven. We homeschool. Our nine year old has Asperger’s Syndrome (currently called high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder) and our seven year old has sensory challenges and anxiety. Each involves weekly appointments.

Like you, we’re busy.

But I’m also a writer who wants to publish her first novel. Where does that fit in? How do I make that happen? Mostly, by sheer force of will. Seriously. Because we make time for things that matter to us.

I get up before my girls get up and I forego Netflix (most nights) after they’re in bed. I write in the in between moments. I use playlists that are 10 or 15 minutes and pour out a scene, some dialogue, descriptions of the world I’m building for my characters, Willow and Poppy:

The two trekked in silence for the next while as they navigated what had become a fairly rocky hill that required great effort to climb even with the little they carried for there was no clear trail, although they followed a well-worn footpath when it appeared along their way. Willow considered her dream and considered the creature on the bridge and wondered again why Judah had left without speaking with her. It was he, after all, who had made mention that her journey would require her to defeat the angels of darkness. And how was she to defeat anyone if he had taken with him her sword and shield?”

Writing matters to me and we make time for the things that matter, don’t we? We schedule date nights and appointments and we manage to eat (most days, at least, right?). We should include our passions on our calendar. When we make time for the things that feed our hearts and souls, we give them the weight of validity in our lives. They become more than a dream or an idea; they become a matter of intimate importance.

You’re busy. I’m busy. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make time for the things that matter. For me, that’s writing. What is it for you?

13 thoughts on “It’s Time to Make Time

  1. Paul writes in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” I love this passage because it reminds me to take time and dwell on God’s truth, goodness, and beauty. I am comforted, strengthened and renewed in spirit when I do take time in these things. I love taking time with my wife and kids, it’s the best part of my day. I also love a long run where I can meditate and focus on His truth and how deeply it is impacting my life. I guess I say all these things to encourage other to not let the busyness of life rob you of enjoying what is now and the truth, goodness, and beauty put before you. I also say this to remind myself as well. 🙂
    In love,
    Chris

    • “I say all these things to encourage other to not let the busyness of life rob you of enjoying what is now and the truth, goodness, and beauty put before you.”
      What a great reminder, Chris.

      For me, an additional scripture that encourages me to write is the parable of the talents and not burying the gifts and talents I have been given and to honor God with those gifts and talents. It helps me make writing a priority in my daily life.

    • Yes, you do. You have some fun and funny and poignant stories to share. I still owe you some comments on one of the two you sent me, but both are a good read.

  2. I love that you are back to writing and your goal of a finishing your novel.

    I don’t have children but I have a home and a full-time job. I find it hard to carve out time for anything. This evening as I unloaded the dishwasher, I thought “I feel like I spend all my time doing this” For me, I am trying to carve out time to figure out what I want next out of life. Turning 51, I realize I might want somethings to change. I am starting with a vision board and just having the time to gather the images is a chore. I would love to learn more about how you carve out time and especially how you handle doing it with the challenge of children.

    • Hey Greg. So good to hear from you here. Boy do I get some of the feelings you describe, especially, “I feel like I spend all my time doing this,” and where do I want to go now. That last one is what has gotten me back to writing. Like the title says, it’s time for me to make time for the things I’m passionate about.

      This is definitely a conversation and topic that deserves more discussion and I will share more thoughts and ideas here and on my Facebook writer page.

  3. A great start. Seasons of life change–when my kids were your children’s age it was difficult indeed to make the time to do the more creative endeavors. Back then I was not a writer. These days my life is quieter, but the temptation is to allow busyness to fill in the more open spaces in my calendar. Writing is part of my daily routine, my job, in all its variations. And so it’s a substantial part of what I do. We write about very different things, we’re in different places, but we write. Best as you persist, dear one.

  4. I feel like I haven’t taken any personal time for myself in months. I think i have one television show i watch a week, and I can’t even think of what I do on most nights. I don’t read anymore. I haven’t crocheted anything in years. I almost never go out with friends. This really needs to change.

    I really like that you’ve made time at the end and the beginning of the day when the kids aren’t up and around, because I feel that there are certain things that you need dig into deeply (exercising, writing, learning something new) and that it is best to carve out big chunks of time rather than finding a minute here or there.

    I am curious about how to find the same time in my life for that sort of thing. I am mostly worried about falling asleep in the middle of my “personal time.” I am definitely not a morning person, I tend to spend my mornings staring off into space while I “try to wake up.” And while I am more active at night, I find that if i sit down to do a task (read for fun, study Spanish, read my bible, crochet) I end up falling asleep. As soon as I make my body stop moving, my mind realizes how tired that I am and tries to send me to bed.

    Do you struggle with the same thing? I’m not sure how to combat it.

    • Hey Sam. I absolutely struggle with these things. And more often than I’d like, I don’t win the battle against my weariness. But I continue trying and working at it in small increments. Like I mentioned, sometimes it’s 10 or 15 minutes of writing. But I celebrate that because it’s 10 or 15 minutes I made time for and there’s more words building a new scene.

      It’s difficult to take personal time, and I also realize that sometimes we’re so tired, personal time turns into sleep. And maybe sometimes that’s okay, too. Maybe personal time can be a relaxing bath with a book for 15 or 20 minutes before heading to bed.

      I think the important thing about scheduling time for ourselves and our passions is how we think about it, you know? Can you accept that this is a difficult season and rest and sleep are a top priority? Also, I was never a true morning person, but I believe we can retrain our brains. I’ll never be like my husband, who loves the quiet of the early morning and rises quite early to enjoy that. But, I have come to enjoy my coffee and my Bible and easing into a little bit of a morning routine that includes my pursuits before I dive into the day of meeting the needs of my kids.

      • I love your response to Sam’s comments … I really like the idea of giving ourselves even 10-15 minutes to do something we like to do. It’s interesting that a lot of us feel we “shouldn’t” or “don’t deserve” time for ourselves… we slip other things into our priority list and our time and our bliss become the caboose of the to-do’s. I am working at being mindful … trying to stay in the moment. I have the kind of racing mind that either is reviewing the past or anticipating and preparing for the future (what an ill-conceived notion!). By taking multiple deep breaths (with the exhalation being longer than the inhalation), I find I can live “in the moment” and it’s not a bad place to be! 🙂 Back in birthing classes (35 years ago), they called these breaths “cleansing breaths” … I thought they applied strictly for when in labor but as accidents happened (scraped knees, elbows, etc.), cleansing breaths helped to settle the child down.
        Keep up the great work of writing, Judy! I’ll wait as long as it takes in between jottings just so I can savor your thoughts, cares, interests and musings. xoxo

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