I've been to the workshops that tell you that you MUST write regularly, consistently, and daily. In theory, I probably agree with them; in practice, that's impossible for me.
My life is chaotic. I have a lot going on. Here's a brief sampling of my list of responsibilities:
- Mother of 2 VERY active little boys
- Full-time English teacher (with all of the lesson planning, prep, and grading to go with it)
- Vegetable garden
- Active church member with its associated activities
- Stampin' Up (crafting) demonstrator
- Any other project that comes along
- I've been trying to wake up before school to write early in the morning. I'm not a morning person, and getting up when it's dark is exceptionally hard for me. But I can usually make myself get up about twice a week for a half-hour before school starts. That's not daily, but it's a whole lot better than not at all. Anything is better than nothing.
- As I mentioned above, I'm a teacher, so I'm off for the summer. I'm implementing a one-hour quiet time for my children in their bedrooms each day after lunch. That gives me a good hour of uninterrupted, silent time to work. That is rare in my house. Find a way to focus on your writing.
- I work best in the morning before the tasks of the day wear me out. But trying to balance that with sleep and early priorities is difficult sometimes. Some people write best before bed. Find the time of day that works best for you -- and be open to the fact that it may not be when you thought.
- Believe it or not, my critique group really helps me keep writing. We meet every other week, so I always have a consistent commitment to keep my skills honed. And it is an outside pressure that sometimes guilts me into doing something, even if inconsistently. Find some source of accountability to contribute something.
- This past year, I discovered that I need to write "seasonally." No, that doesn't mean I only write once every few months. I realized that I have less time to dedicate to my writing during the school year, so I write shorter works. I've really gotten into short stories and flash fiction. This allows me to feel some sense of accomplishment, even when I can't put as much time in as I'd like. In the summer, when I have slightly fewer things fighting for my attention, I can focus more on my novels. If you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or stagnant, try something different.