If I had my wish, I would write full time. I would have a beautiful office with a comfy chair at my desk in front of a picture window looking out on a large body of water. I would get up late, wander into my office with a steaming cup of hot chocolate (I don’t do coffee), and spend the day (and probably most of the night) immersed in the imaginary world of my stories.
Unfortunately, this is not even close to a possibility any time in the near future, or possibly ever. If hopes and dreams and a good joke or two could pay the bills, I would be golden. But, sigh, I am forced to maintain full time employment to make ends meet. I work 40(ish) hours a week as a therapist in an elementary school. It’s emotionally draining playing Ants in the Pants and Connect 4 multiple times each day, but the money’s gotta come from somewhere, right? Plus, between paperwork and phone calls, lately I’ve been staying late just to keep my head above water. Let’s just say that my top priority when I get home is not opening up the laptop to let the words flow effortlessly from my fingers so much as it is taking off my pants and watching some Ellen.
I also recently agreed to teach a second college course. Another one I will have to pretty much design from scratch. That doesn’t start until March, but if I don’t want to be scrambling and working through spring break, I’d better get started sooner than later.
And then there’s my church stuff. I’m helping lead a Bible study starting next week, helping plan monthly events for our ladies’ group (ggw4god.blogspot.com), helping to plan a possible teen girls’ retreat for March, and singing with the praise band regularly. And I love it all.
Throw in socializing several nights a week, and I’m left to wonder…what about my writing? What about the time I need to spend editing and revising and researching agents and contests and webinars? How can I spend the time I need to make it to my dream, when there is so much else getting in the way?
One skill I don’t have is time management. Like, at all. I will spend an hour playing Mah-jong and not even realize it. My days are so scheduled, I hate to schedule the rest of my life that way, Type B personality that I am.
Something I need to do is make sure to make writing a priority. I need to turn off my phone and disconnect from the internet, leave the TV off, and just write. Even as I type this I have had multiple texts and Facebook notifications, all of which probably could have waited.
So, if anyone reads this, hold me accountable. Ask me when my writing time is, and then text me to test if I actually turned my phone off. Ask me about my progress, or ask to read a snippet. I have found a couple contests I might enter…but don’t ask about those.
Here’s to continuing to do what I need to do and what I enjoy doing, but above all, WRITING!