Late last year I wrote about participating in National Novel Writing Month. So that means I’ve had a 50,000+ word document sitting in my Dropbox that hasn’t been touched since the end of November. The reasons for this are innumerable: it’s been hard to regain the momentum that I had during NaNoWriMo; it’s been tricky to schedule my time in a way that allows me to feel as though I’m focusing on all of the things that are important to me; and I want to do something with this work that takes much more talent than I have.
In conjunction with this, I’ve been waking up at 4:15am for nearly two months so that I can write my morning pages each day without interruption. I typically write for an hour a morning – sometimes it ends up being more than three pages and sometimes less; I don’t worry so much about the page length, but the time spent scratching on paper. One of the things that I’ve been harping on in my journal is that I’m not writing, even though I made a conscious decision when I was setting my goals this year to not schedule specific writing time (and I totally need to revisit those goals anyway).
So my struggle right now is how to find a way to do everything. Big surprise, right? It’s only what everyone else in the world is struggling with. Kids, husband, house, work, reading, writing, knitting, quilting – what else? These are all things that are important to me and I want to find a way to know that I’m putting enough water in all of those wells to ensure that they keep filling, however slowly. The time that I have for the last 4 items on my list (reading, writing, knitting, and quilting) is between 4:15am-6:30am and after 8:30pm. Everything else in the middle is filled with the first four items on my list (kids, husband, house, and work). So figuring how to best utilize those golden hours has been so hard for me.
And as I write this, I am home from work today using some scheduled earned time. My youngest is upstairs on his way to a nap. My oldest is sitting on a stool beside me eating a piece of cake for lunch and yacking away to me as I hear him with only one ear and answer “yeah?” to everything he says. This is stolen time twice over – I stole time from work to be home with my children, and then I stole time from my home and children to sit down to pound out a few words. What a crazy world we live in!
And how lucky am I?! I have two healthy, happy babies that take all of my energy to keep from destroying everything. They have a lot of toys that they can make messes with. I have a job that has a ton of flexibility and I’m able to earn vacation time. I have a home with a sweet husband and wild children. And I’m able to squeeze in bits of time to do things that are important to me, however small the slices are. I’m not trying to complain, I’m just realizing (yet again), that you can’t have it all. Something’s gonna fall through the cracks and for me right now, it’s writing. And that’s probably a good thing – because that means that I can read like a fiend in all of the stolen time, which is the best way to study writing!