January 26, 2014

A Time and Space to Write - Bonnie Way

A soft, irregular clicking sounds fills the den.  A square, white computer screen casts its glow over me.  My eyes dart to the clock display in the bottom right of the screen, calculating the time since the baby went down for her nap and how much longer I might have to write.  My ears are tuned to the sound of the baby monitor sitting behind me.  Silence still and so the clacking continues.

Writing time can be hard to find as a mom.  I've often used naptimes, typing feverishly while the baby sleeps, thankful for each moment I have to write without a small writer sitting on my lap trying to help hit buttons on the keyboard.  As my daughters have gotten older, I've also stolen moments to write when they are playing with each other (again, typing hastily while listening to the sound of their play, ready to intervene should the sounds cease to be happy) or watching a movie together (if I'm under deadline and need that writing time) or having time with Daddy.

I often find myself envying my fellow writing students who aren't moms and can write whenever they want.  Then I have to remind myself that I started my blog before I was a mom—when I was a single young woman who still found it hard to find time to write.  There will always be something more pressing upon our time, some chore or task that demands to be done and pushes aside the writing.  The key as writers who also wear other hats (such as mom) is to keep making time to write.

Canadian author Cassie Stocks says, "Don’t tell yourself that once the children are grown, or the renovations complete, that then you’ll start writing. Start now, write around the dirty dishes, write about the dirty dishes.  The right time to write is when you sit in the chair."

Many of my creative writing instructors have talked about finding a schedule to write.  Knowing that you'll be sitting in the computer chair from 8 am to 10 am to write often makes the ideas flow.  For me, that's more of a rough routine than a schedule, but I do know that I can think about and plan articles, stories and blog posts while driving or doing dishes or walking them to the park and then, when I have that time at the computer, type like crazy.

Sometimes, finding that time to actually write requires being creative.  I asked fellow Inscriber Dayna Mazzuca how she manages to write while homeschooling two kids.  She answered, "I don’t find the time; I make the time or my husband gives me the time.  If I have to take the time, then I do our schooling in the morning and send my kids upstairs to do extra computer time (they have very limited computer time) or watch a movie.  Normally I have a writing day while they have a community class on Tuesday mornings.  In the afternoon, I have something low-key for them to do so I can keep writing."

So whether your writing routine is daily or weekly, whether you have kids distracting you from writing or something else, make sure you find that time to sit in the chair with your computer (or notebook) and write.  We are writers and writers write.

Where do you write and how do you make the time to fit it into your other tasks and jobs?


  1. I connected with this piece on so many levels. I, too, had to squeeze writing time into nap time (only I used a typewriter or handwritten journal, not a computer!) I also instituted an afternoon 'quiet time' for my kids when they got older and we homeschooled. When I went back to work in the public system, I had to wait for Saturdays and holidays. I find now that my kids are all grown up, I have more time, but as you said, I make the time. there would still be things that would take me from writing if I let them. (ex: TV)

  2. I enjoyed your blog, Bonnie, and I too identified with you. I can imagine how much work you get done when a baby is helping you type. :-)

    Even when I'm retired from teaching and my kids are grown up, there still aren't enough hours in the day.
    I agree with Emily Carr who prayed, "Lord, may I never catch up before I die."

    I think we're supposed to challenge ourselves by setting priorities. I am now trying to sit at my table at 11:00 a.m to handwrite or journal, or I may sit at my computer, but only for writing on the piece I am currently producing. An hour or and hour and a half doesn't seem like much, but it makes me work my day around this appointment I have set for myself.

  3. It is really hard to find time to write! Just an hour a day - that's all I want. But I rarely get it!

  4. Hi Bonnie,
    I enjoyed reading your blog. You are not alone in your envy of people who can write whenever they choose. Whether it's children or jobs there are a number of things that distract us but usually we find a way to write because like you say, "we are writers and writers write." So true.

  5. Bonnie,

    I so enjoyed your post. The sentence that jumped out at me was the one you highlighted in paragraph 3: "There will always be something more pressing upon our time...(that) pushes aside the writing."

    That's been my own experience to a 'T'. I'm so glad for your reminder of that and to stand guard against it.

    Happy Writing,
    Blog Moderator


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