The fastest way to get me to not do something is to tell me I HAVE to do it. For the past two months, since Curls started school, I have been struggling with finding the time to write. Homeschooling has taken over my life this school year and it has been a shock to my system. Combined with preparing Red for kindergarten and just doing fun activities with them after dinner most nights, the day gets away from me. When their bedtime arrives all I want to do is sit on the couch and catch up on my shows. But when I do that, the guilt sets in. The voices in my head tell me, “You should be writing. The book isn’t going to write itself. Or you should be reading that book that it is due back at the library next week.” The things I love to do are starting to feel like tasks and that makes me sad. Not only do I love to read and write, they are therapy for me. I am a much more agreeable person when I do them. So unless the day gets magically extended by at least eight more hours, I need to rearrange my priorities.
I love my sleep. My kids and I still take naps when time allows and if I have to wake up before 8 am I don’t want anybody to talk to me. This is my first priority that needs to be rearranged. The thought of getting up an hour earlier on the days that Curls is home is hard for me. Not just because it robs me of sleep, but because I have to wrangle my kids for that much longer. That sounds harsh but as a stay at home mom for over six years, I can tell you that time to myself is a precious commodity. And even up an extra hour doesn’t equal an hour of writing.
Trimming the fat is next. This is stuff that I can say no to so I can say yes to more writing and reading. Shows I watch, internet surfing (I’m looking at you Facebook), etc., etc. are things I am trying to limit without taking away all of my interests. As a pop culture junkie this is really difficult. Being up to date on all the popular shows, movies, and blogs is a passion. But again, less fluff equals more writing.
The book I have been writing since March of this year has hit a road block. The way I have envisioned the story going is now something I dread completing. But veering away from that means I have to come up with a new direction for the plot. Either option fills me with fear. I don’t want to finish this story because I am starting to hate it. I want to jump to the slutty story that has been calling my name for a while now. New and original ideas for this SS have overtaken my brain and I run to my notebook to jot them down throughout the day. But not completing a novel I started seven months ago is an option I am not willing to consider. So pushing down that concrete wall known as writer’s block with an Andy Dufresne size rock hammer is the task at large. I just hope it doesn’t take me twenty years to break through.
Priorities, obstacles, and writer’s block are all things I deal with on a daily basis as an aspiring writer. Excuses and procrastination like to round out the bunch. I am still trying to remind myself that I love to write and the benefits that I reap from doing it.