Of course, I am not alone. Very few writers actually write full time. Many have "day" jobs and other responsibilities. Whether they are moms or not, they struggle to find time to devote to their craft. In fact, most people find it challenging at best to pursue their interests. Life often gets in the way. Here are some strategies to help you feed your passion:
- Carve out time. For me, my daughter is my priority. I am a stay-at-home mom and care for her full time. And this is a critical time in her development. I'm also a wife, and I can't neglect my relationship. At the same time, writing provides an essential creative outlet I need. So I strive to dedicate one hour a day to it.
- Set goals. Goals push you and give you something to work toward. But they have to be attainable or you will lose your motivation. You need to have realistic expectations. Sometimes you may be working against external deadlines (a publisher's, for example). Make sure whenever you have the ability to influence deadlines, you do so. It helps no one if you agree to something you have no hope of achieving.
- Utilize tools. I take advantage of the latest software to schedule things like blog postings, Facebook updates and tweets. That way I don't have to be tied to my computer at specific times.
- Capture your ideas. Ideas aren't just going to come to you during your dedicated time. As I wrote in this post, they can pop up at the most inopportune moments. You need to be able to capture ideas so you can incorporate them when the timing is right. I use the Voice Memo feature on my iPhone.
- Celebrate progress and accept setbacks. You finished a chapter? Raise a glass. Received another rejection? Get busy and send out more query letters. You are going to have good days and bad days. Learn to make the most of both.
- Be flexible. You will find that events beyond your control get in the way of your writing. You have to be prepared for that and not let it get you down. As I said, I strive for one hour a day. If I get more than that, I'm very happy. If I can't find one hour on a particular day, I try to carve out more time on another.
These tips work whether you are interested in writing, photography, scrapbooking or something else. It's important for you to be able to feed your passion, whatever it may be. It helps make you a happier, healthier, more well-rounded person. I spent the first year of my daughter's life ignoring my own needs, and suffering as a result. Now that I have dedicated myself to writing, I have a revived sense of energy, excitement and achievement. Find your passion and feed it!