School is in.
Which means long hours, late nights, and no time to write. Not if I want my family to like me.
Dan Wells recently mentioned in a podcast that he worked a high-hour corporate job while he was trying to break in as a novelist. He succeeded and has multiple books out. But he says if he could go back and do it again, he’d spend more time with his family than writing with the precious little spare time he had. I thought that was fascinating.
So how do I combat my frustration when I look back and see I haven’t written a single word in five days? If I’ve been slacking or “not in the creative mood”, that’s on me, and I need to put my behind in a chair and start banging out words.
But more often than not I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that there are going to be some days where I just won’t have time to write if I want to see my kids.
In the past, when situations out of my control kept me from writing, I’d get down on myself. I’d question my commitment and all sorts of other nice things. But not so much now.
When I counsel other people about things that frustrate them, I often remind them to make sure their cannons are aimed in the right direction. In marriage, my enemy isn’t my spouse. It’s the enemy of my soul who wishes to get between me and my spouse. So, I have to get the cannons facing him rather than my bride if I want to solve anything.
One of the ways I’ve learned to combat hectic periods in life is to amplify my excitement for my stories. When I’m excited, it’s much easier to remember that I’m working on my story even when I’m not writing.
One of the ways I do that is through music. If I find a song, album, or band that conjures up story scenes in my mind, I play those songs like crazy. Certain songs become something greater, like movie music for a scene.
And that gets me amped about my story.
For most of us, writing is something we do alongside our “day job”. Even most published authors don’t get to sit down at a computer for eight hours a day to bang out their next best seller. When life gets busy, don’t get frustrated. Don’t get discouraged. Find a way to keep the fire warm.
When you find what works for you, those busy times can become the periods when your flame is burning the brightest. And when you do get to sit down, the words come so much easier 🙂