How to Keep Writing in a Busy Season from TheBlissfulPoet.com

How to Keep Writing In a Busy Season

My husband and I bought our first house a few months ago. To me, that puts us squarely in the “grown up” camp even though I don’t feel nearly adult enough to be a homeowner. (I’ve just barely come around to the idea that I’m old enough to be married—and we’ve been married for three years.) Anyway, because the house was a short sale, it has been a long process. Eight months, actually. I don’t think it usually takes that long for people to purchase houses.

But it’s officially ours now, and we are so excited we can barely contain ourselves! Our very first home—one that we can decorate, care for, nurture, landscape, and love basically however we want. No permission needed to paint a wall or replace flooring. A nice, big backyard for our future dog-child and human-child. A nice, open kitchen that gives me direct access to the TV as I’m cooking. (Priorities, am I right?)

Needless to say, moving is one of life’s biggest stresses. It’s good stress (mostly), but stress nonetheless. On top of our daily activities like, I don’t know, working, grocery shopping, exercising (LOL), church, community and social activities, and finding time to eat and sleep, it also means we’ve been much busier than usual. My days off from work have consisted not of writing, but of changing addresses, running errands, and attempting to organize and pack everything we own. I’ve finally resorted to throwing things in random boxes, scribbling “fragile” on the outside regardless of its contents, and hoping for the best.

But in the midst of our busyness and happy stress, there’s always a nagging thought: You should be writing. After all, it’s what I’m aiming to do for a living, day job be damned. The voice is right; I should be writing. How am I supposed to do that when I barely even feel like I have time to shower?

How to Keep Writing in a Busy Season

How do you keep writing — or pursing anything you love — in the midst of a busy season?

You don’t.

Just kidding. You do.

It’s simple, but not necessarily easy.

First of all, I have given myself permission to write less during this season of busyness and change. Not to stop writing, but to write less. I could certainly spend six to eight hours a day at the keyboard, but that would leave little time to tend to other responsibilities. Sometimes certain aspects of life demand our attention. Sometimes those things are expected, and sometimes they’re not. Regardless, it’s okay to give yourself a break when overcoming temporary obstacles. You need to be physically and mentally healthy, and working yourself to death isn’t the way to do that. (Just don’t give up completely.)

Second, even though I’m giving myself some breathing room right now, I’m still making writing a requirement by doing it first. When I make it my first priority of the day (after coffee and some Jesus time to keep from yelling at everybody all day), I can’t put it off with excuses. “I’ll write after I call the power company” or “I’ll write after I organize my books for the seventh time” doesn’t exist because I don’t let it. I write first. Granted, because there’s so much to do lately, I’m only writing for 30 minutes to an hour each morning, which is nothing like I should be writing if I want to make a living. But again, this is just a season, so it’s impermanent.

Finally, cutting out distractions is more important than ever. Because my writing time is condensed each day, I can’t afford to be distracted by the things that usually get me, like social media, television, grazing in the kitchen, or playing with the cat. That hour of writing time is precious because it’s all I have today. When I have all day to write, I allow myself to get distracted by those things, and more often than I’d like to admit. It happens to everyone. But now that most of my time is going elsewhere, for now, my writing time has to be very focused so I can write as much as possible with the time I have.

If I’m being totally honest, I don’t always get it right. Every now and then I have a day when I let my writing roll around in bed all day with Netflix and a bag of Cheetos while I focus on other things. During temporary seasons of busyness or change, I think that’s okay. I have to give myself permission to let things go once in a while. But I still want to do my best to write consistently and persistently because, in the long run, that’s my priority.

Have you ever been in a season of such busyness or change that you’ve neglected what you love? How did you find time to keep writing or pursuing your art? I want to hear from you!

 

Let me know what you think.