July 28, 2014

The Summer Series - Roxanne Piskel

I know many of you are playing catch up today after attending the BlogHer conference over the weekend. My guest today not only offers some great advice on finding time for writing when life is crazy busy, she was even dedicated enough to re-write her post and send it to me from San Jose.

Roxanne Piskell is a single mother to a 7-year-old superhero and Doctor Who fanatic (okay, he gets it from her!). She’s a Bay Area transplant living in Reno and documenting her adventures in parenting at Unintentionally Brilliant. She has about 5 novels in progress and dreams about completing one before her son goes to high school. Be sure to check out her blog, because she really is brilliant! And fun.

Take Ten

Summers used to be about reading as many books as possible, running through the sprinklers, and getting a break from the go-go-go of the school months. Summer was a great time for me to get writing done. I filled notebooks with my fiction and journals with my personal stories--sometimes elaborating them in the way a dreamer always seems to. I wrote all the time during the summer.

These days, I am less likely to get any writing done when the weather gets warm. And it’s not necessarily because I’m enjoying the sunshine and swimming and camping at Tahoe. It’s because my “real” job gets crazy busy between May and July. We run the kids summer sports camps for Athletics at the university and there is a ton of them going on.

Earlier this summer, I was disappointed in myself because I dropped the ball when it came to writing. I had told myself I wanted to post at least once a week this year, and then I went three weeks without a new post. Not only no posts for the blog, but I wasn’t doing any of my own personal writing either. My novel-in-progress wasn’t making any progress.

And then I saw a simple little post in our group for the Bannerwing Write Club. Mandy of In Mandyland was encouraging us to find a way to set aside just 10 minutes for writing. Instead of just ignoring it and saying it would be too hard in my busy schedule, I made myself accountable to this amazing group of writers and told them I would try my hardest.

That day I wrote in my physical journal for 10 minutes just before bed. The next night, I did it again. On the third night, I wrote a blog post and kept going after the 10 minutes. I wrote for 20.

As the days go on, I’m finding my 10 minutes in other parts of my day--not always right before bed. Sometimes I’ll take 10 minutes during my hour lunch break at work and write.

It’s not always easy, and sometimes it’ll be almost midnight and I’ll realize I haven’t done my 10 minutes. But I will forego going to sleep to get the writing done. Even if it’s scribbling in the journal about what’s on my mind. That extra 10 minutes of lost sleep actually helps because then I get what’s on my mind out of there and don’t have to worry about it as I’m trying to sleep.

To be a writer, you must write. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. And if you need some outside motivation, check out the Bannerwing Write Club. It’s been amazing for me, reviving myself as a writer.

This post is so perfect for my blog! And for this series of guest posts. Thank you so much for sharing this great advice, Roxanne! It can feel intimidating at times to figure out how to fit writing into our busy lives. But who can't find 10 minutes?

Check out the other Summer Series contributors:

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