In my biweekly critique group, a common question arises from the guests and new members. “How do you find time to write?” Then excuses spew forth from the newbies as to why they haven’t published, researched or written a story in months. The problem is, they preach to the choir – a choir that writes religiously.
The serious members in my group consist of a night nurse, a pregnant full-time mother of two pre-schoolers, a high school statistics teacher and single mom, and assorted others with full plates. These folks carved enough moments out of their schedules to publish short stories, features, plays and even novels. Life throws us a wide assortment of duties to perform in our brief 24-hour days, but many of them are disguised as obligations when they are not.
My writing career began when I was a federal manager raising three sons. “Burn out” was my middle name. When a medical expert advised me to make changes for the umpteenth time, I immediately went home, fed the family and delivered the announcement that I would write daily and not be interrupted except for personal injury or extreme emergency – then shut my bedroom door. My fingers penned stories and poetry for fifteen minutes every night. Those sacred moments embedded themselves into my daily ritual until they became one of my obligations.
Within weeks I’d sold a story to an anthology for $150. As time went on, my credits escalated to online websites, local magazines and newspapers, and ultimately national publications – magazines like Writer’s Digest, The Writer, and ByLine Magazine – that finally recognized my personal investment in the craft.
How do you find time to write? One little minute at a time. Once those few moments harden into an obligation to yourself, they get greedy. Before you know it, writing is a respected part of your life, not only in your mind, but in the eyes of everyone around you.
C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Her magazine credits include Writer’s Digest, The Writer Magazine, ByLine Magazine, NextStep Teen, College Bound Teen, Landscape Management Magazine, TURF Magazine, and American Careers Magazine. Hope is a motivational soul known as “Freelance Hope” in many circles. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.