Life has changed a lot for me recently. In the past year, we’ve moved from the city to a small farm, obtained thirty goats and sheep, numerous chickens, two dogs and another cat. We welcomed our first child in August and I signed a book contract right before her birth. So life is crazy. Finding time to do some serious writing? Even crazier.
After years of having a designated block of writing time every weekday afternoon, I’m doing what I’ve come to think of as “writing in the gaps,” those small spaces of time I can snatch when the baby is asleep, or happily focused on a toy (very small amount of time), or when someone can watch her for an hour while I try to focus.
Guess what? It’s tough. Much tougher than I anticipated. “I’m going to write two sentences while the baby’s distracted,” I joked to my husband one day. “It’s good to see you’ve adjusted your expectations,” he replied. Yup.
I recently went to a conference where a speaker asked if anyone had tried getting up an hour or two earlier to write/work/get stuff done. “How’s that working out for you?” Everyone in the room laughed. “Right, it doesn’t work for long,” she said. Now I feel less guilty for not getting up (or staying up) when the baby is still sleeping and writing, or for sleeping in until the baby wakes up. I might get up early some mornings, but right now writing is 10 minutes here, 20 there, read while holding the baby so she doesn’t scream.
I know this period won’t last forever. And I’ve found even if my writing time has diminished, my resolve to write hasn’t, but you know what has? The idea that being published is ALL IMPORTANT. It is important, of course. I want readers to like my work, buy my books, and recommend them to others so I can continue to write, but in light of being responsible for raising daughter, being a successful, amazing, best-selling author doesn’t seem as important anymore.
I still want my stories in the world. I still want you to read them, but I’m a little more patient about that process. So, two sentences or two hours at a time, I’ll keep writing. In the mean time, life is happening in between those gaps of writing and I call that a good thing.