Finding Time vs Making Time

November 3, 2009 at 6:51 am (Thoughts on Writing) (, , , )

2009 has been an extremely busy year for me, not just as a writer.  Everytime I think I’m getting a grip on things Life comes along and gives me a hard shove just to let me know that I am not as in control as I would like to be.  Of course that is reality for most people most of the time.

I think for me it was the flu that really threw my rhythm out entirely.  Before the flu I was blogging regularly, almost every day, checking various social networks, writing constantly, editing projects, sending out queries, and keeping up with my day job just fine.  Then I got sick.  The kind of sick that meant I was in bed and didn’t really know what time of day it was for a couple of weeks and then when I was on my feet I had so much work waiting for me it was a never ending battle just to keep the pile from getting bigger.

I’m finally starting to get things back together, and just as well.  The end of the school year is coming up and that means piles of marking and reporting and meetings and all of those final jobs that absolutely have to be done or the world will end.  Hopefully not literally.  I’ve also just gotten my first novel, “Death’s Daughter”, back from its first round of editing.  It isn’t tragic but there is a lot of work to be done.  In addition, I am about to be moved for work and so I have to start tidying up all my loose ends here, packing up the house and just get ready for a major upheaval.

With all of this going on I could simply sit back and say I haven’t the time.  Really, if I waited until I found a spare moment to edit or pull things together, I wouldn’t be getting anywhere fast.  Time does not magically appear before you with a neon sign saying ‘use me to write’ or ‘I could get the dishes done’.  Time has never sat around waiting to be found.

I can however make time.  No, I only have 24 hours in the day and I am spending at least 8 of those sleeping and a further 8 (at least) at work.  It is however amazing what you can do with an hour if you have properly planned and prepared.

The reason an hour can go by so quick is many people spend the first fifteen just getting their brain geared towards whatever it is they end up doing, and they turn off ten minutes before the end thinking, oh I’m about to be out of time anyway.  25 minutes of absolute dead time.  If you also count lack of organisation and running around putting things together and finding things that are needed to do whatever it is you are trying to do, you could have as few as fifteen minutes of actual useful working time.

Right now I am a little time stressed and starting the blog up again was something I thought over very carefully.  I didn’t want to stick my toe into the water and decide it was too much effort.  I planned and thought about it and realised that I could make the blog work and sorted out the how and when.  I can get some writing done and I can keep up with all the other demands on my time with a little preparation and organisation.  If occasionally I slip up, one or two late nights or early mornings won’t kill me.

I would like to know how everyone else deals with the busy demands upon them.  If you have any great advice on how to fit writing into a busy schedule, please share it.



  1. Elizabeth Spann Craig said,

    I’m so glad you’re back!

    I fit writing into each day….with some difficulty. In busier days, I’ve got a *time* goal, not a word count goal. I’ll say 15 minutes. That 15 minutes can be on the way to an errand with a voice recorder. It can be in 5 minute increments divided up through a crazy day. But you’d be amazed what you can accomplish in 15 minutes if you are writing fresh material and not revising what you’ve already written.

    • cassandrajade said,

      Hey Elizabeth, thanks for your comment. 15 minutes can be incredibly useful, though I’m not a big fan of the voice recorder – can’t stand hearing my own voice played back.

  2. ninakillham said,

    Hi Cassandra, thanks so much for commenting on my blog. I read yours with great interest. With a schedule like yours it’s no wonder you’re having trouble finding the time to write! I admire your perseverance. I find that getting up early and getting a certain number of words down regularly helps. Then you have the rest of the day for everything else. The morning for me is a great time before the kids are up and natter of everyday life intrudes on your story. Good luck with it. Oh, by the way, I’m married to an Australian. We visited the Great Barrier Reef last year and just loved the Whitsunday islands.

    • cassandrajade said,

      Well, I write because I want to and it is always possible to find a little time for something you want to do (although sometimes it comes at the expense of something I should be doing). Thanks for the comment.

  3. Annie said,

    Hi ya – thanks so much for popping over to my site and commenting – I so appreciate the time it takes to do so..

    Don’t beat yourself up with your time to write – heck – you are so busy – the important thing is to write – even 100 words a day = but make it a habit..

    I look forward to your future comments on one of my sites.. hugs!

    • cassandrajade said,

      Writing definitely needs to be a habit and once you start, it is quite difficult to stop. Thanks for your comment.

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