I’m joining 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. Today’s chapter is Write.
I have enjoyed writing since I was in college, but until about fifteen years ago I wrote strictly for myself, doing journal entries almost daily. Now, I consider writing a calling, something that is a part of God’s plan for my life. A few months ago, I set a goal of writing at least one blog entry per week. I see this as a first step in developing my writing skills. Eventually, I plan to write some articles for magazines, something I did several years ago but stopped when circumstances left me almost no time to write. But my ultimate goal is to write a book, sharing some of the lessons that God has taught me through having a special needs child (now an adult) and losing our first child when our vehicle was hit by a drunk driver. That accident left me with many fractures, severe osteoarthritis, neuropathy, and a long list of other orthopedic and neurological problems.
My main personal struggles and frustrations when it comes to writing regularly come from my physical limitations. As a sufferer of numerous chronic illnesses, pain is a part of my daily life. I also tire easily, and often need to rest for a couple hours in the afternoon. When I combine this with my responsibility as the bookkeeper for my husband’s home-based video production business, as well as other family and household tasks demanding my attention, time for writing is limited. At times, I’ve found myself sitting up in bed doing a blog entry because it’s due and I’m in the midst of a flare-up of one of my chronic illnesses.
With all of this in mind, I’ve set a goal of writing (including the study and preparation needed to complete an article) for three afternoons each week. About two afternoons a week, I have a doctor’s appointment, so those weeks I only have two afternoons for writing. With so little time available, I need to use my writing time wisely, or my blog posts will be few.
On the afternoons that I have reserved for writing, I’ve run into another problem. I noticed I was becoming so focused on my writing that other tasks weren’t getting done. For example, I would put in a load of laundry in the morning, and realize at bedtime that the clothes were still in the washer. I would also sit in the chair where I write for hours without a break, which only agravates my health problems. So I’ve started using the Pomodoro Technique and scheduling in five minute breaks every half hour. As I get up and walk around the house, or take a brief walk outside, I’m able to concentrate better when I come back to my writing task. And when walking around the house, I notice the jobs I was forgetting to finish.