It used to be that I carved out time here and there to write. Here meaning home, after diner was cleared and I had some table space at eleven There meaning the couch in the Ballet Studio, or a folding chair in the Karate Studio, or maybe even in the van while I sat and waited for somebody else to do their thing. Then it happened. Somewhere between here and there, I started doing other things. Non writing things. Talking on the phone. Grocery shopping sans kids. Reading without interruption. Taking on other projects.
As time went on, and people noticed I was writing less, other changes started happening. My time that used to be mine, just wasn't anymore. I felt needed during those hours of waiting rooms, working on other things. Bedtimes got later and sitting down at midnight was a chore instead of a reprieve. What about time with my husband? I wanted that too, but if we don't start a movie until eleven...I'm beat when the credits are rolling.
I distanced myself from my books. There is no one to blame except myself. Within the whirlwind of to-do lists and things I thought I ought to be doing, and the things I just plain wanted to, I let it go from a priority to a sometimes. I thought less and less of my characters, and then they stopped talking so abruptly. It was the quiet that got me to notice. Thoughts used to scream at me at the most inopportune times, and it was FANTASTIC trying to scramble to write down ideas. But then, there was nothing. I had distanced myself from my passion, and I was miserable.
When I did carve out the time, it was new again and that meant interruptions. I have yet to meet a single mind reader, so why in the world I thought people would honor my time without ever preparing them....um...well, I see the error in my ways now. I called myself a spare time writer, and the thing of it is, there is no such thing as spare time. It's a falsity. Best made up load of bullshit word ever. Because there is ALWAYS something that needs to get done. So I cannot achieve my goal with bits of time that belong to something else, or without telling the world "Hey, I'm working, we'll catch up later."
Part-time writer is my new phrasing. It even comes complete with a workable schedule that differs from day to day, but a schedule none the less. Full-time writer of 40+ hours a week is the ultimate goal, but part-time of 20+ is what I can manage now, so long as I treat my work as WORK and stop letting it fall last in the mega list of stuff that needs doing. If I let the words fall from my head to take a phone call, why should anyone else treat it any differently. It's my baby after all, I should be the one cradling it and letting the phone go to voicemail. Which I don't actually have set up. But I know a text will come next so what of it? I can actually say, "Sorry, I'd love to help with that but I'm working those hours," because why not?!? It's true!
In this world of immediate gratification and hectic schedules and too much too fast, I am going to set the example of how a homeschooling mother of two, wife, chauffeur, friend, daughter, Girl Scout leader, sister, aunt, cousin, part time job on weekends.....is going to reach her dreams. The first step was to set the schedule. The second was to relocate my tiny little desk (that I love) to a closet with a door (I had no door before!! I am a crazy person!!) Bonus - this door even locks. I will lock it and I shall be working. I'm fairly certain I can still hear the smoke detector from in there. I'll be fine. And books will be written.