Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How Do You Find the Time?

Shot with my iPhone 5S & Camera+ App (using the self-timer)
It's a fair question and one I receive every so often, especially from readers who are just discovering my blog. 

It's true that since 2008, I've amassed 600+ posts on my site, but it's also important to keep in mind that those posts were written over the course of 1-2-3-4-5-6 years. 

I'm not a prolific writer by any means, but I think I've developed a few habits that have helped me, year-in-and-year-out, carve out time to write.

But first, let's look at what I don't do...

I don't...
  • Watch much television.  In the past, I've made exceptions for two PBS series shows, Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife. But oftentimes, I watch the episodes weeks after they've first aired, sometimes while running on the treadmill.
  • Clean my home until it's spotless. I'd rather skip the dusting or put off cleaning the bathroom until later, so I have time to write.
  • Browse Pinterest or Facebook or Instagram as much as I used to. When I go onto one of these sites, I love the inspiration, the eye candy, the sharing of photos and stories, but I know that I must set some kind of timer (usually on my iPhone), lest I fall into the social media black hole, never to return again. 
I do...
  • Jot down notes everywhere.  Sometimes in too many places--to the point where I'll remember capturing my thoughts, but I can't for the life of me recall exactly where. I'll think, Did I leave a voice memo for myself? Or type it in an iPhone note? Or jot it down in a spiral notebook? 
  • Set up my laptop on the kitchen counter. Some days, especially if I anticipate some down time at home (e.g. Noah is watching an episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates or engrossed in playing with his trains), I stand at the counter and type away. 
  • Read A LOT. Books. Magazines. Blogs. I find that new ideas bubble up to the surface as I read. Inspiration strikes. (Of course, not all the time, but sometimes.) 
  • Take advantage of any "free" time I have. If my husband is going to take Noah grocery shopping with him, you'll find me typing away at my computer while they're gone. When Noah goes to daycare for a few hours on Fridays, I spend a good chunk of that time writing.
  • Think A LOT. Over-think is probably more accurate. Some of my blog posts are written entirely in my head. I simply dump the contents out onto the page when I have a moment to type it up. More often than not, blog posts take a lot of time and energy-- tweak and revise and proof my writing.    
How do you carve out time for hobbies you enjoy?

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