Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for "First Things First"

I don't know about you but so many times what I "want" to do gets shoved aside for things I "have" to do.  Somedays, writing (what I want to do), takes a backseat to just about everything else and sometimes writing doesn't even make it in the car. (Insert big sigh here.)

The question is, how do we make what we want to do a priority?  I don't know about you, but sometimes it's hard to justify sitting at the puter when there are dishes/laundry that needs doing, kids that need our attention and what seems like 900 other things demanding our time.

I once read, well, more than once really, but the idea was to get up a half hour early and do your writing then.  Or, stay up a bit later after everyone else has gone to bed.  But what if you are just too tired to do either one?

Then, there's the "make an appointment with yourself that you can't break.  Ha!  Isn't that just the time when the baby wakes up or the cat hocks up a hairball in the  middle of your desk? 

And, then there's the other stuff we need to do that relates to writing such as blogging, tweeting, editing, market research, submitting and such.

So, what do we do?  We run plots through our heads while doing the dishes.  While running errands we rehearse dialogue and when we get it right, we pull over for a moment and make a note.  (I plotted a whole story in the car one day. Thankfully I had pen and paper with me.)  We jot down a scene here and a scene there and sooner or later, we have a whole story.  Then, we can put it all together. And, while shopping or doing things out on the town, we watch people.  We watch how they carry themselves, their body language and expresssions and make a note about that so we can create realistic characters.

I don't know the answer for everyone else so here's where y'all come in.  What are some tips, tricks, helpful hints to get the writing done when there are 900 other things that need to be done?


Gay said...

Great post, Jean, and right on the money. Even though I've no longer a growing family demanding pieces of me, there never are enough minutes in the day. I've resigned myself to just doing the best that I can and tell myself to end the day with no regrets. After all, we are all still works-in-progress.

V.R. Leavitt said...

Right on the money, Jean! Yeah, I mean, until this can become our day jobs, we just do the best we can with the time we have.

Jean said...

Right now, along with the normal demands of the day, I have Skittles the new kitten. She needs to eat about every three hours and that process takes about an hour total. She eats a bit, has to play a bit, then eats some more.

I like the little varmit and all but when I have to entertain her for 45 minutes so she'll be tired enough to sleep for a couple hours it gets time comsuming.

Angeline said...

So true! Isn't it funny how life gets in the way of living? I don't have the answer, it always seems that when I have the time I don't have the inspiration and vice versa!

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'd love to say I have the magic answer, but I don't. I was able to get a schedule going for a little while, and I even scheduled house chores so I could check them off and shut them out of my brain, because I already knew when I was going to do them. It worked for awhile, but I'm back to being scattered. ~sigh~

Anonymous said...

I daydream--a lot.

I ALWAYS have a notebook nearby (there is even one on my nightstand for those times when I think of something as I'm drifting off to sleep, or wake up remembering a great dream/story idea).

I steal writing moments whenever I can.

I've decided that it's okay to be a little tired.

I sometimes take a pass on something that I 'should' do so that I can do what I want to do.

And finally, I gave up guilt.

That last one is a biggie. ;O)

Jean said...

Guilt is a biggie! But you know, the kids can have a sandwich served on a paper plate occasionally for lunch and it won't hurt them one bit. :-)

Michelle Teacress said...

Like Shannon, I can occasionally get myself to follow a schedule, but not always. But I find it helpful to keep track of ideas when I have a notebook or pen and paper available so I don't forget things when I finally have a moment to write.

I'm number 879 on the A-Z hop list. It's nice to 'meet' you. :)