The 411 Blog

Five Ways to Make the Most of Busy Life Seasons


Posted March 24, 2016 by

I have a baby girl, who for all the joy and light she has brought into my life, takes up the majority of my day, time, and attention. I rarely get to open up my laptop. I rarely have the quiet to think. Those midnight hours when Baby Girl is sleeping? They’re devoted to the rest I need in order to function. My early mornings belong to God. Writing time is a rare animal around here. If the planets align and Baby Girl is sleeping when I’m waiting in line to pick up my kindergartener, I might actually find a golden hour! But for the most part, yeah. Rare.

I get frustrated sometimes, and wonder if I should just give up my writing ambitions altogether. But in those moments, I have to remind myself that Baby Girl won’t be a baby forever. Now is the time to cherish and embrace this focus on her, for I’ll blink, and she’ll be going to school. Going to college. Getting married.

I keep telling myself that it’s okay to be too busy to write. My stories can wait. I should rejoice and count it a blessing that I don’t have to juggle a book contract on top of my baby’s needs.

We all go through seasons in life. Before you stop writing because you don’t have the conditions you think you need, reexamine what you’re trying to do and look for ways to compromise. I may be dying to work on the second draft of a story that’s “clear cut” in my mind, but without a way to shut myself away in quiet without giving up sleep I desperately need, an editing project is unrealistic for me right now. But that doesn’t mean I should give up writing altogether. I can still write, and you can too.

  1. Become a daydreamer again. Put some theme music on and daydream about your stories. Explore possible scenes and dialogue within the TV of your mind.
  2. Read like crazy. The best writers make time for reading.
  3. Keep notebooks and pens scattered throughout the house. Install a writing app on your phone or tablet. Work with what you can reach.
  4. Hold the edits and free write. Edits require quiet for concentration, and space for comparing drafts…at least in my world. If that kind of time just isn’t there, start a new project, and free write. You might not have anything ready for readers, but you’re writing new stories, and improving your skills. Definitely time well spent.
  5. Make friends with potential readers. Yes, get on Goodreads, Wattpad, and other reader-catered sites, and have fun. Don’t promote yourself or your books, keep it down to earth and make friends.

Your turn! How do you pursue writing during busy life seasons?

Gwendolyn Gage



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