10 Ways to Find More Time to Write
by Jenna Ness
As newly-bought author, I’m discovering the joys of having a firm deadline. Here are some ways of finding more time to write.
1. Taking a shower every day is pretty hedonistic, don’t you think? Every other day is fine. Just as long as you don’t attract flies.
2. When it comes to personal grooming, forget about unnecessary luxuries like makeup and nylons. It’s faster to get ready each day when you have a “uniform” you don’t have to think about. My sporty signature look: a ponytail, a smear of lipbalm, and cleanish clothes that aren’t wrinkled. Voila! Eat your heart out, Paris Hilton!
3. Beg your family to help out by babysitting a few hours a week. Don’t be afraid to cry when you’re talking about your deadlines. After all, since you’re not wearing makeup, you no longer need to worry about raccoon eyes (see #2).
4. Introduce your family to their new favorite home-cooked meal: Lean Cuisine (any flavor they want!) and an apple. They’ll love it!
5. Cut back on TV and reading. TiVo your favorite shows and only watch them while folding laundry, unloading the dishwasher, or walking on the treadmill. Ditto for reading books. Multi-task-o-rama.
6. Avoid taking on new obligations. Only do things that you really *want* to do (like getting a pedicure to celebrate finishing your rough draft), or that you absolutely *must* do like (like paying your bills). Let all the rest go.
7. For holiday giving, keep it simple. Even gift cards are too much work – all that driving to stores, etc. To show you care, write a check and stick it in a plain white envelope. If you’re feeling particularly jolly, decorate the envelope with red-and-green crayons, if you can find some. If not, use black pen.
8. To make sure that your home doesn’t turn into a total pit, hire a cleaning service to come once or twice a month. It might not keep your house as immaculate as your neighbor’s, but at least you don’t need to worry about the mold in your shower giving a verbal critique of your singing skills.
9. Keep your writing time sacrosanct. Find the time that best works for you, whether it’s on your lunch hour, during the kids’ naps, or at before anyone else is awake, and don’t let yourself do anything else. Know your temptations. I like to go to a coffee shop. With no internet access and no ability to rotate laundry or clean the kitchen counters, it’s amazing how much I can get done in 2 hours.
10. And finally, here’s the fun secret of deadlines that no one talks about: they give you a great excuse to avoid doing things you don’t want to do anyway. “I can’t diet right now; I need to focus on my book.” “I know I need to see the dentist, but it will just have to wait.” “Oh gee, I’d really love to make six dozen cookies for the bake sale tomorrow, but gosh darn it, I’m on deadline.”
So enjoy your deadline, because sadly, it won't last forever ... then it's back to the real world of nylons, dentists, and carpooling. So love it while you can!