Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing. Since August, the IWSG would like to see a particular question answered in each blog post. This month that question is “How do you find the time to write in your busy day?”
When Mark and I were cruising full-time on our sailing catamaran Irie for eight years, there was not much time (or electricity or internet availability) to write. I focused mainly on cranking out a sailing article once in a while, making notes about our travels and experiences, and creating about one blog a week on It’s Irie. One of the main reasons we left that boating lifestyle was to focus on our “careers”. The extra time, comfort and amenities a more settled life offers would certainly help with that.
Mark dove right in, having long desired a return to the US for the ease of living and working, and stays super busy with his business ever since. I dreamed of writing a book and waited until last November to start executing that plan. Many months have gone by since then and I find it extremely easy to come up with excuses, writing and non-writing related, to not work on my memoir.
I’m very fortunate in the sense that I don’t have a full-time, regular job. Our frugal lifestyle and rent-free accommodation allows for that. I should have plenty of time to work on my book, compared to most writers. I should make it a priority. That was the plan. Yet, I spend hours on expanding my Roaming About blog – writing content and posting photographs – and interacting with blogging pals, trying to become part of the social media success. It is working out OK, but the efforts are much bigger than the rewards. Our lifestyle is just not as exciting to people as when we lived and traveled aboard. I still work towards writing and publishing travel articles and often submit my resume for other online jobs. The days fly by, even when I don’t write in my book. Of course, my intended memoir is always on my mind and I constantly jot things down. But, I feel like I am not making any progress. The content is there, spread out over many different files and documents, but the form factor, thread, flow, voice … is still missing.
My biggest insecurity these days? I have no background in creative writing and never learned about English literature. My first language isn’t even English, which frustrates me at times when the right words don’t come. And then, I have these weeks that I am so thoroughly sick of writing all day that I prefer to read. As a compromise, I choose books that I think will help me with the writing process and I have been doing writing exercises to eventually come up with a possible thread for my memoir. My non-fiction book proposal is on hold, until I figure out what exactly my memoir will be about.
While I am not a fan of routines, since they urge me to change them immediately and do something more exciting instead, I do believe that a writing routine will be very beneficial. When there is nothing more important or attractive going on. 🙂 Seriously, once settled somewhere again for a few months, I will try to work on my book (either by writing or reading) in the mornings, and do/write other things in the afternoon. So far, I have been incredibly unsuccessful with that.