I've been battling a WIP into submission and desperately trying to beat back the demon beasts of frustration, doubt and anxiety. I've been doing all of this while my darling husband is living under my feet 24/7, driving him to Physical Therapy three times a week, hauling him to the doctor, doing all the chores he did plus my own, helping him shower and dress (that, thank God, is over), entertaining him after PT with long drives and lunches, teaching my daughter to drive, saving my darling cat Clancy's life, hosting little gatherings for DH's friends so they can see him and help me entertain him--well you get the picture.
I don't have much time to battle a WIP when I have all these other stressors in my life. Yet, I am battling it every day. Yes, I am writing every day. How? What is my process? When? Where do I find the time? In a nutshell, I just do it.
The last time I had to battle a WIP into submission, we moved. I wrote in a box. I wrote in a car. I wrote at Starbucks. I wrote whenever I could squeeze in the time. And I finished the revision. And that little book has done well for me. So I am not letting one husband being underfoot and the chores of life being quadrupled stop me from getting the work done.
So here are my little tips for getting BICHOK even when the Butt does Not have TIME to get in the Chair.
(BICHOK: Butt in Chair, Hands on Keys)
*Exercise. I am going to the gym FIRST thing in the morning after I take my darling daughter to school even though I know I could use that time to write because my body needs to be strong in order to maintain my drive to write.
*Eat healthy foods. Yes, despite my love affair with wine, I also eat a very healthy diet making sure I get all my veggies and fruits in and trying to stay away from breads and pastas. This keeps my brain in gear.
*Set a daily goal to write. Yes, write every day. I wrote every day in February (even when my husband had surgery and was in the hospital). I am still writing every day. I did not worry about word count. I only worried about writing. One day it was a paragraph, the other a scene. Now I am up to about 1000 words a day, but I also did a LOT of cutting (30,000 words cut -- ouch).
*Be flexible about when you write. I usually write in the mornings. That is my BEST time to write. But I've got a lot on my plate and a husband who needs me. So now I write when I can. During DH's PT, I go to the library or local coffee shop and write for one hour. No fooling around. I write. When I get up in the morning before everyone else, I write till they emerge. When a slot of time opens up in the early evening, I write. Only got a half an hour? Use it to write. You'd be amazed about how much you can accomplish in a half an hour.
*Redefine the word write. Writing isn't just putting words on a piece of paper (if ONLY IT WAS). No, it's printing out scenes and reading them, looking for problems in them. It's cutting and moving pieces around or deleting them altogether. It's talking about the story problems with a CP. It's entering contests (I entered two and sent off my critique pages for the author critique workshop coming up at GRWA in March). It's fiddling with the synopsis. It's brainstorming. Any time you spend on the MS is writing. One of my CPs says if all she does is TOUCH the MS hard copy, she counts it.
*Consider it an escape from real world problems. Now when I am filling out forms for insurance claims (those of you who know me know I am allergic to filling out forms), calling doctor's offices and hospitals for explanations of this's and thats, cleaning floors or scooping out the kitty litter, I tell myself my reward for all the hard work is being able to park my butt in the chair and put my hands on the keys.
Oh, lovely. I get to write every day! Think of writing as more than a book to form and to wrestle into shape so you can sell it one day. Consider it a gift, a reward and a joy to pursue. Then you'll want to use every spare bit of time you have to write.
Go ahead. Get your BICHOK and write!