My life always seems to be about finding time – finding the time to meet my deadlines, finding time to work on a new WIP, finding time to find new clients for my non-fiction writing, finding time to maintain my blogs… well, you get the picture. The frustrating part of it is that it always seems to be “I’ll get to that new project as soon as I get past this next great hurdle.” (And the hurdle doesn’t necessarily have to be anything about my writing.)
As a freelance writer I have to make the time, keep my projects and thoughts in order, follow up with the mundane business end of writing professionally (invoices, responses, records, responses…), and generally be an organization whiz that is totally contrary to my creative side. It can be frustrating, aggravating and sometimes overwhelming.
To-do lists are great because they do help me to NOT forget the next project or commitment, but they can also add to the irritation of knowing how much more I haven’t gotten accomplished. I’ve learned to make as much note about what I have done as what I haven’t done. Perhaps it’s a separate list, but that takes up time to do. Drawing a bold, very visible jagged line through an item that started on the to-do list can be satisfying when you look and see the paper filling up with graffiti.
I am in the throes of teaching a creative writing course and one of the biggest stumbling blocks for my students is “finding the time to write” – and the appear crestfallen when they find how much more time goes into the business side. So we have been working on suggestions where ideas can be scribbled on blank index cards during the hectic day, or a journal written before bedtime can be filled with thoughts to be turned into stories. When you do sit down to write, celebrating those four pages you wrote, even when you know three will eventually be trashed, will be motivation to write even more.
I’ve got a lot on my desk right now, three non-fiction articles due this Friday, interviews I have to set up for two more articles due in a month, two WIP’s I spoke to my publisher about, some editing and a query or two I have to send out. I also have the ongoing promotion efforts for my books and pre-hype publicity for my next novel, Final Sin, due out in May. Then there is the reading I promised I would do for fellow authors and friends. Let’s not forget that I have a home life and responsibilities there.
We are all busy people these days – look at it this way, if you don’t feel you have the time to write those stories you are carrying in your head, then you certainly don’t have the time to make excuses.
So write, we are waiting for it.
By the way, I would like to offer you a FREE ChapBook e-book download featuring the first chapters of my five novels, Bartlett's Rule, Forgotten, Within the Law, Courage of the Heart, and Final Sin (coming May 2009). Just send me your email address to ChelleCordero@gmail.com with "ChapBook" in the subject line.