I’m not always good at taking time for myself. Whether it’s folding the mountain of washing in the evening instead of putting my feet up, paying bills during the kids’ nap time instead of writing, or working late instead of leaving the office and going for a run while it’s still daylight, there are times when I’m left at the end of the day feeling like I did a great job of keeping the household and my work life running smoothly but didn’t do much for me.
This year, to achieve my goal of writing a novel, I’m mindful that me time will also mean me writing time.
My trouble isn’t how to be productive in the unstructured home office environment. When I was freelancing as an editor I was able to keep standard work hours. Of course, one of the perks of the freelance lifestyle was if my workload was lighter I could take the morning off, or catch up with girlfriends mid week, as long as I met my deadlines. No, my trouble isn’t making time to do the things I have to do, it’s making time to do the things I want to do.
I’ve always been someone who has to get the “chores” out of the way before having fun. When I was little I would eat my vegetables before the rest of my meal. At university I would finish my assignments a couple of days before they were due and only then let my hair down and go out with friends. Currently, I can’t seem to concentrate on anything else until the kitchen is clean.
One of my excuses to date about why I haven’t written my novel is that I haven’t had the time. What I’m starting to consciously acknowledge is yes, life is busy, yes, there are many more things to do than there are hours in a day, and yes, something else will always demand my attention first if I let it, but if I don’t start actively taking some me writing time every day, not finishing my novel is going to become something I regret.
So, I pledge to leave the breakfast dishes in the sink until lunch time, hide the pile of washing behind a closed door, and sit down at my computer and write for at least an hour a day. No more excuses!
Are you finding it difficult to sit down and write as much as you’d like to?