I am following Upstart Crow Literary on Twitter. They are a literary agency in New York that I discovered and last week they posted a blog about prioritizing and asked how do writers make time to write when we have so much else going on in our lives, such as full-time jobs, family, friends, and hobbies? I could identify completely with this post because since I have started writing, which has only been a few months, I have already found it hard to balance my day job and writing.
I have a full-time job and while it is not stressful, all I want to do when I come home is put on my sweatpants and curl up on the sofa while watching the pile of shows on my DVR. Before I went on my vacation to San Diego, no matter how tired I was, I would push myself to get some writing done. So I would come home from work, have dinner, watch a little TV, and then write in my notebook for a half hour or an hour and then do some pleasure reading. I also made time to a write a blog post or two. I like writing at night because it is very quiet in my house and there are no distractions and I am in a much calmer mood. I didn’t do all of this reading and writing every night but for the most part, I got a lot done in a week. Some nights, I would go out with friends for dinner or we would stay in to have “So You Think Can Dance” and “Glee” viewing nights. I spent my weekends sleeping in, going to dance classes, running errands I didn’t have time for during the week, and going out with friends.
Then, I went on vacation. Its been two weeks now since I have been back from San Diego and I haven’t pushed myself at all and have been doing more of the sweatpants and DVR thing and none of the writing thing. I have basically become lazy which is a very easy thing to do. When I was in San Diego, I had the luxury of time. I slept in, went to the beach, and sat in coffee shops for hours just writing with no deadlines or any place to run to. I got a lot of writing done and so when I came back to the “real world”, every hour that I spent on the couch for the next two weeks was justified with all the writing I did during one week of vacation.
I feel guilty when I realize a whole week has gone by and I haven’t written a single sentence. I feel guilty because I know how much I love to write about my travels. When I am writing about living in London or traveling around Europe, I forget about everything else in my life, including work, hobbies, or errands. The writing makes me feel good amid any stress or unhappiness I may feel at any point. That is reason enough to keep going and get back into a routine. It would be very easy to quit and be happily lazy doing whatever I pleased but I promised myself that no matter how much I procrastinate writing this book and no matter how many revisions I go through, I would never give up. I love the subject matter too much to give up and not give it a shot. My best friend just moved back to the city and is writing a book of her own and we are going to spend our Saturdays together writing and giving each other critiques. We are both looking forward to these Saturdays because it will motivate us to keep writing. I am sure that as the months go on I will find more ways to prioritize and if I have to put off the ever appealing fall TV season to do it, than so be it. However, I will make time for new episodes of “The Office” because that nine o’clock time slot cannot be compromised.