On Being a Writer: Arrange

I’m joining in with the online discussion group that Kate Motaung is hosting on her blog Heading Home, based on the book On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts, by Ann Krocker & Charity Singleton Craig. The second chapter is about arranging our time and space to make room for writing.

About nine weeks ago, I decided it was time to get serious about my writing. So I tried to set up a weekly schedule that would include three afternoons a week for writing. What has happened since then reminds me of when I’m working on a jigsaw puzzle, trying to fit in a puzzle piece that looks exactly like it fits where I’m trying to put it, but it doesn’t. In frustration, I try to put it in other places that look like possibilities, until I finally give up on placing that piece and pick up another piece and start the same process with it

To help you understand why this is what happens when I try to follow a specific schedule, let me tell you a little about myself. I am a woman who suffers with a long list of chronic illnesses, which currently are causing weakness and weariness that often require me to I spend part my daytime hours in bed resting. I don’t work outside the home, but my husband has a Christian video production business and Ihandle his bookkeeping. I also have an adult son with special-needs, who receives in-home nursing care, so this is a busy house. And recently, I’ve had to spend a lot of time working out some problems concerning my son’s medical equipment and supplies. So I have more than enough to keep me busy without writing. Yet I’ve sensed the Lord Jesus telling me that I needed to make time for writing.

Since I made the decision to spend time every week writing, I’ve come up with a different kind of plan that is working for me. When I get up in the morning, I start by spending time in God’s Word and prayer. Then I ask the Lord to give me His assignment (or assignments) for the day. Some days, God brings to mind that our  business records need to be brought up to date. Others, I sense He wants me to focus on household tasks. Some days He says, “it’s time to write.”  And other days He’ll show me a couple small tasks to do and say when they’re done I need to rest. This may not work for everyone, but for me it has helped me to catch up on my many-faceted responsibilities (which I had fallen way behind on when trying to stick to a schedule) and write at least one blog post per week. And I’ve done so while going to numerous doctors appointments and taking time to rest when that’s really what I need to be doing. This may not be the answer for anyone else in this group, but it’s working for me.

The arrangement of my space is also probably different than most of the rest of the ladies in this group. Because of the problems with my neck and back, I am not able to spend long periods sitting at a desk or table using my laptop. So I do most of my writing on my iPad, using the WordPress app. And I work sitting in my recliner, with a shelf next to me holding materials I might need. I do have a laptop, which I occasionally use, but most of my writing is done on the iPad.

6 thoughts on “On Being a Writer: Arrange

  1. hi ready, i don’t think i’ve found your name yet. i’ll keep looking. yes, i’m the one who wrote about writing on the couch. but it causes me problems in the arrange dept. it causes more back pain and also makes for more blending and less splitting of my writing world from the craziness of what is happening around me.

    i don’t have the chronic issues you have where you need the recliner. i should be working more at the desk where i have a better chair to sit.

    you are wisely learning what you have to do to arrange you “schedule” to work for you. i’ve learned to think of a schedule more in modular terms. if a couple of hours come out of a segment i tend to use for one thing on a tuesday afternoon, i try to replace them on a different day. sometimes it works, others it doesn’t.

    our summer was full of extra doctor appts. and therapy appts. for my husband after his late april stroke. life is getting back to normal now with less appts. and more of a normal life. but lots of interruptions that have to be cared for still come. the challenge is not to get irritated by them and keep moving on with what GOD has given me to do…interruptions included:)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I suffer from a chronic pain illness and also have to be flexible with my schedule. I like the idea of asking God in the morning what I should be doing for the day. I’ve recently retired from working as I couldn’t keep up anymore and have found myself kind of floundering without a schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This plan seems to be working for me. Another person doing these posts suggested a plan which also uses a timer to keep us from sitting for too long without a break. I’m planning to add that to my days, no matter what I’m doing during the day, since a little exercise (walking around the house or outside for a few minutes) helps me not get as stiff as when I sit for longer periods. We each need to figure out what works best for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the idea of praying each day and asking God what he wants you to do. I always like to have a schedule and plan for the day, but I can rely on my organisation and planning too much when it should not be about my plans but about what God wants me to do. It’s great that you’ve found a way of arranging things that works for you.


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