Tikiman1962 asked me to share why I leash myself to time constraints, concerned that this practice might be counter productive and unnecessary. I disagree, for me goals and schedules are the only way I can function as a writer (and a mom).
First of all, I have very limited time to devote to daily writing, especially time that is undisturbed. In one week, I have roughly eight hours where I can write without my children on my head. This time is found only in small chunks, and hour here, 90 minutes there. Eight hours is not much time to do anything, so I have to be very focused and have a goal to work toward.
Why do I set such high goals if my time is so limited? Because it makes the impossible possible. The human brain is an amazing tool. While I’m off changing diapers and making snacks my writing is always floating around in the back of my head. By the time I can sit back down to write I have have figured out what comes next. I don’t waste time doubting or rethinking every word because I simply do not have time to do so.
For years I waited for the perfect situation before I set out to accomplish anything. For writing it was always “when the kids are all in school.” Then I would have the time to finally work on the story in my head. I hated having put my dream on hold, it was depressing to have nothing to work toward. The realization hit me that if it is important to me I had to make some sacrifices to make it happen. There would never be a perfect time.
Now, it’s full steam ahead. I want to start approaching agents by the end of the year. Yes, there will always be ways I can make the manuscript better and I could work on it for years. But my ultimate goal is to see it published. Spending untold years on it and then not being able to find a market would be a shame. Spending one year and not finding a market would be a learning experience. The last few months have been fantastic and very empowering for me, I’ve proved to myself that I can do it.
On a side note, I do the majority of my blog work during the day with the kids around. This particular entry was composed in roughly twenty separate micro sittings, most while being yelled at or sat on. Efficient, no, done and better than nothing, YES.