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  • Writer's pictureCate

Finding Time to Write

Being a 'morning person' is tricky. It means that all my energy is at its peak in those first hours of the day. If I want to get anything done, it has to be in the morning.

If i want to achieve any housework or gardening? Morning. Exercise? Morning. Writing? Morning.

The downside? I also work full time as a teacher. Morning.

To get to work, I need to be leaving home at 7:30 ish, and before that I am usually trying to motivate my non-morning person type husband and son into life, having breakfast, and partaking of my ablutions.

I generally get up at around 5:00 am, sometimes a little earlier, and start the day with a cup of tea (hallowed) and what is supposed to be a quick glance at my emails.

That gives me about an hour to an hour and a half to fit in all those other things. Housework. Garden. Exercise. Writing. And, uh, emails.

For a while I found myself incapable of doing anything. I just couldn't fit it all in. Especially as the emails seemed to suck up the entire time available... or at least the browsing that followed the emails did. Um, do. If I let it.

You see, I am an insatiably curious person, and will follow links about books, writing, gardens, science, teaching, history, lifestyle, horses, getting spots out of carpets, you name it, anything.

Then my alarm will go off and, voila, it's time to get ready for school.

Oh, if I have a specific writing deadline, I'm okay. I respond well to the tyranny of deadlines. But most days... hmm.

Then I realised something amazing. I know. You'll say, 'duh, well that's obvious', but it took me a lightbulb moment to realise that I don't have to do it all. A little of something, is better than none of everything. Right?

Suddenly, it all became less overwhelming.

I still scan my emails - just in case there is something super important - but then i wil do something - just one thing - from my list of things i like to do, and leave the mindless browsing to the afternoon.

At the moment, the garden doesn't get much of a look in because the mornings are not really light enough any more, and, for the same reason, I'm substituting a bit of yoga or stretching for my morning walk (which I look forward to at the weekend).

I am, however, getting a lot more writing done regularly, which has the surprising effect of giving me more energy for the rest of the day. I love writing, I get excited about what I am writing, all those hormones or whatever get released into my bloodstream, and I'm away. Sometimes I even get home with enough energy left to pick up where I left off. Bonus. Sometimes.

True, I get a little resentful when the alarm tells me the day has begun and it's time to risk the wrath of the boys and tell them the bad news about morning having arrived, but i feel a lot more in control. And I promise myself Saturdays. A whole day just for my writing. Luxury. Interspersed with quality time in my garden and getting the laundry done.

Housework? It was never much of a priority. I do what needs doing and leave the rest for next time. Hence the cobwebs around the windows and books and papers on every flat surface.

Writing time? Sorted. Maybe not as much as I'd like... but back on track.

And that is the important thing, because, as I discoverd when i was passionately researching where writers write, it is really that you write that counts.

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