If you are anything like me you wear several hats, so to speak, throughout the day. Being a writer is just a small part of who I am. Personally, I like it that way, but I would like to see writing play a bit larger role in my life than it currently does.
For years I’ve tried to balance writing and creativity into my life. It’s an extremely difficult if not impossible process. Every time I made more time for writing, I neglected something else; things like the dishes, laundry, cooking [which is something I enjoy], even reading started taking a back burner or became neglected to make room for writing. I tried schedules, blocked out time, took time off from work and I even took the summer off from school, so I could dedicate time for writing. For many these approaches work, but for me it created stress and depleted my motivation and creativity.
So, for the last few months I have sat relatively unmotivated waiting for inspiration to strike. Though, this time wasn’t wasted. I have spent the last two months journaling and speaking with a life coach. And some where along this journey, I discovered something amazing… I don’t need a balance of work, life, and writing as I always thought. I discovered that I needed to integrate it into my life. In the past, I always tried to balance my different roles. Now I am changing and integrating them into my day.
So, what does that look like?
It means instead trying set aside time for writing, I have changed my perspective and now I am squeezing writing in. I know it sounds the same, but for me it’s a completely different thought process. For example, instead of setting time aside to write this post after I get off work, I worked on this post off and on all day. I have been stealing a few minutes of downtime here and there and re-purposing it to writing. I’ll snatch a minute of time that equates to a sentence or two, while I wait for a report to generate. Or I’m waiting for the water to boil when I’m making spaghetti, so during that time I’ll read a few pages in a book or I’ll make a couple notes about an idea for my book, or even write a bit.
For me the real balance has been snatching those little unnoticed pockets of time and turning them to something enjoyable. It’s amazing what little changes accomplish. In the past couple weeks, I have noticed small moments of downtime at work that had been filled w/ checking social media or starting at the screen waiting for a report to generate. I have stolen those moments and read a few lines in a book, wrote a sentence or two on my book, worked on other creative ideas, or even typed a blog post. And the amazing thing is I’m making progress, feel more creative, and have even started working on new and different [painting and drawing] creative ventures. And I’m spending more of my free time being creative than before.
How do you balance your schedules? Do you schedule creative time? Or do you steal it?