Protect your writing time

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Something another writer told me at was how important it is to protect your writing time. There’s only 24 hours in each day and sometimes it feels like there’s never enough time to get everything done. What people don’t know is that when we’re writing, we’re actually “working.” I think my husband finally gets it. Yesterday, he asked if I wanted him to go to the store to pick up some things for dinner so that I could keep working. Before that, he gave me the impression he thought I was wasting my time since I don’t get a paycheck for the amount of words I accomplish on any given day.

When I’m not physically writing, I’m still working things out. I might look like I’m outside walking my dog, but in reality my brain is also puzzling out issues for my characters to resolve. I might look like I’m lying on the couch resting but I’m also plotting in my head. I might be in Zumba class but I’m also thinking about the ending to my novel or some problem I’m having with a specific scene or chapter. All the time, as writers, we’re working.

If I’m writing, it means I have to say no to extra requests to volunteer at my kids’ school. Or I need to ask my children to be quieter so I can focus. For me, writing is something I do everyday. I cherish and look forward to it and I protect this precious time as my own.

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