Between work, school and being a single parent I’m told that it is impossible for me to have the time to write as well. And I suppose for a lot of people that might be true, but the sad fact of the matter is that I just can’t function properly without some story going on inside my head.
I call it my “back reel” — that weird, unidentifiable space in my brain that is constantly collecting story ideas, running through plot fragments, snagging hold of a stranger’s face for use in a description and … well … pretty much always driving me insane. The point is, it’s always running and if I don’t get it out on paper I think I could explode or something.
So how do I write while attending school, working full-time and being a parent?
Well, the first thing I do is listen to music at work. Right now I’m rocking the Pacific Rim soundtrack because it totally revs me up for the edit on Tapped I’m going to be doing here in a few weeks. I haven’t actually started on those edits, but I do keep some paper nearby for any instant inspirations that hit me.
Now, I’m lucky enough to have a job that allows me to put my headphones in and pretty much ignore everyone else while I get my work done. This gives my muse plenty of space to run in and by the time I get home and the kiddo in bed I’m ready to start writing.
Yes, I do the writing thing before I do my homework. I have to.
If I didn’t do it this way I’d be distracted from my homework. Plus, it gives my brain a chance to acclimate from the work scene to the home scene. So by the time I’m done with my writing hour I’m ready to do my homework.
After I’ve gotten up and done some dishes, swapped out the laundry and checked on the kiddo, of course. And at the very end of the night, when the homework is done and the writing is carefully tucked away, I watch something. That’s what gets my brain to stop thinking so hard so that I can get a good night’s sleep.
It amuses me when someone says they really want to write but don’t have the time for it. To be really harsh about it, they’ll never have the time to write if they continue to think like that. You have to make it a priority. Once you do that, you’ll find a way.