Finding Time #IWSG

I had to chuckle to myself. One of those miserable, self-deprecating laughs. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group has a monthly question. Today’s Question: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Lately, I haven’t (thus the laugh). I get 10 words here and there, but my calendar is packed with all the other things vying for my attention. You know, like my children. Sheesh. Normally, I’ll spend my lunch hammering out about 200 words. That’s been difficult these past few weeks, since I’ve had to take time off and rearrange my schedule to get my son into early childhood development observation, arrange for well-child check-ups, and do all that other Mama stuff that comes with having kids.

Since handing off my children isn’t an option, and Mother comes before Writer in my tagline, I hope I can gain forgiveness from my peers for my failings.

In the calm times—those weeks where I don’t have to take time off of work to take care of life—I’ve got a system. Lunch hits. I stand up, walk around the campus for 15 minutes, and spend the remaining 45 writing. That’s it. Once I’m home, there’s no time for writing. Every moment (whether I’m awake or not) is interrupted with a constant request for my attention. This leaves me with a precious 3 hours and 45 minutes a week to get any writing done.

It hasn’t been calm lately.

My schedule is packed for September. Hopefully October fares better.

What takes up your time? Is this a busy month for you?

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You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

32 thoughts on “Finding Time #IWSG

  1. It sounds like you’ve got a system that works for you, and that’s what counts. 🙂

  2. It barely registered the September was here. August kept me busy. Maybe things will calm down as the month goes on for both of us. 🙂

  3. You gotta do what you can do when the kids are around. Don’t apologize:) It’s good to hear other moms who struggle with writing time!

  4. I’m trying to get into a head space where I can write again, which started with me making writing time. I hope October calms down for you. 🙂

  5. I love your usual schedule and I’d be doing exactly what you’re doing. Family first. Kids grow up and won’t be put on the back burner, but writing is always there. Things will settle down. They always do. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. You have your priorities right, Loni. Writing will always be there, Kids grow up.

  7. I don’t know how people with kids do it. But you found a way before, you will find it again. Since you can’t lock the kids in a closet, enjoy time with them when they need you.

  8. This: “Every moment (whether I’m awake or not) is interrupted with a constant request for my attention.” Yup. That leaves me writing at midnight or later. And August/September is THE WORST with back-to-school crap. I don’t care what anyone says, there is no time in the day while trying to manage a family, work, etc. (especially if you add your online responsibilities…I’ve been a slacker there).

  9. I’m glad my ‘children’ are kittens. When I want to get some writing work done, I dump the most annoying kittens out onto the porch until I get done. Two of the kittens, Simon and Theodore, love going on the porch anyway, and the other two, Eleanor and Alvin, are OK with it but so far haven’t gone out on their own.

  10. I had that chuckle, too. Writing time, more often than not, just doesn’t exist. I hope things slow down and smooth out for you soon!
    IWSG Co-host at

  11. Here’s to hoping things slow down so you can get some time in for other things. If it makes you feel better, I’m finding myself in the same boat this year.

  12. Family first. You’re doing great!

  13. Having a system works. I think my biggest problem is lack of structure in my writing habits. I did better when I was working full time and had to find time to squeeze it in. Go figure.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    • I think that totally makes sense! When you are really busy, you make a schedule and know you have to keep to it. But when there’s lots of unscheduled time, it’s easy to think there’ll be plenty of time…later.

  14. Yup, as stuff picks up with kids, time for other things goes out the window. But it’s all cyclical – it’s busy now, but one day you will find time again.

    And sounds like you have a pretty good system anyway, so stick with it! Yay, you!

  15. It’s hard to get writing done when there are other things keeping you busy!! I don’t think anyone would blame you for that. I’ve been super busy lately so I haven’t gotten any writing done. Hopefully that will change when things calm down.

  16. Mama stuff comes first, no contest, but I like your system of writing during the lunch hour. When do you eat?

  17. Geez, Loni, that’s not a lot of time at all. But you’re doing it. And yeah, I agree with Olga – when DO you eat?

  18. Totally admire the way that you juggle things AND prioritise family. Stay with the system.

  19. I am right there with you Loni. Between baseball practice for my son, dance and homework for my daughter, I can barely catch my breath but I am trying. Thinking of you and hoping life calms down soon 🙂

  20. Yep. Children are real time suckers. I think it’s a matter of finding fifteen minutes where you can just dedicate your time to writing. It should be the same time, every day, so it becomes a habit.

  21. Claire

    Have you ever tried dictating? It’s not worked for me (I feel a plonker, and can’t think the same way when I can’t see the text in front of me), but I know some writers who swear by it, especially as they can get it done while pottering around the house or driving…

  22. I hope October will be a calmer time for you. I admire your discipline with your writing time at work!

  23. You don’t need to ask for forgiveness. Every minute that you write count even if it is fifteen minutes a week. The main thing is that when you have the time you do it. And yes, mothering the future generation comes first.

    So hang in there Kiddo. You are moving in the right direction.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

  24. I hardly think you’re failing, so there’s no need to ask for forgiveness. Family should come first.

    Here’s hoping October is a calmer time for you!

  25. I hear you. It’s insanity! But that could just be because I have another book release in less than 2 months. Of course, being remanded to just one car for 1.5 months didn’t help, nor did getting my son in a new school with no buses 20 minutes away, nor having to take the other son to college regularly or drop & pick up the hubby at work. *shrugs* Still, I WROTE, every day. The house never got cleaned though. I’m so happy to have a “normal routine” again. Much more productive.

  26. Small children will eat up all your time. I admire anyone who gets any writing done in any given week when their children are under about 12. I know I mostly didn’t! (Such an amazing thing now, to have kids almost grown and half gone!).
    My IWSG Post

  27. Gah. >_< Hope you do find the time for more writing soon, though I'm glad you can find a little bit now and then. My September is quite busy but it's all for vacation stuff and one of those vacations is a writing workshop, so I really can't complain, even if I do feel a bit overwhelmed.

  28. You do have your hands full. I don’t have any of that and still can’t seem to find the time to write much.

    Maybe you can write a book: Writing Your Novel 10 Words at a Time”.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  29. At least you got a chuckle out of the question. 😉 I hope you have calm days soon.

  30. I love your energy, Loni. Wishing you more peace and calm in the weeks to come. Keep that great sense of humour – it’ll get you through all those chaotic times.

  31. Kids grow up way too fast; get in the time you can, Loni. Honestly, I still can’t believe how fast the time went. I remember my mother saying that, and me thinking What! Time is slow! Not.

    Your humour is wonderful!

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