Each year, I set out with fabulous, high-aiming writing goals. I’m going to finish at least one manuscript (of the umteen partially written ones saved on my collection of flash drives). I’m going to write a certain number of words each day/week/month. I’m going to spend a hour each day/every other day writing.
And on and on and on.
Then life kicks in and some of the goals I made some progress toward in the early weeks get sidetracked. Worse yet, they get thrown in the ditch and forgotten.
And then the guilt sets in.
I can’t always write a certain number of words every day. I have trouble finding uninterrupted blocks of time for writing (even 10 or 15 minutes, some days). I might be able to carve out some time for writing late at night, but I’m worn out from the day and can’t seem to keep my eyes open once I sit at my keyboard. I get excited about a new idea and toss my current project aside to follow the new path.
I’ve decided that this will be the year I don’t let those roadblocks and rabbit trails defeat me. Here’s why.
- Maybe I can only write a couple of paragraphs while waiting to pick up my kids from school. But some words are better than no words, and they eventually can make a book if I string enough of them together.
- Maybe the new idea gives me a chance to explore a new genre or writing from a different point of view (POV) or connects me with wonderful people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
- Maybe I’m too tired to write some nights, but I can toy with ideas while doing all the usual mom stuff that I want to finish before collapsing in bed.
The point is, I can set all the goals I want — and that’s a good thing to do! — but maybe I need to be more realistic with them. I have a full-time job, a fairly busy freelance writing/editing business, and a family to love and enjoy. My husband helps with a lot of things, but I’m usually the one to take care of grocery shopping, errand running, and kids’ activity logistics. I’m active in church, help at my kids’ schools, and try to find at least one day a month when I can exercise. 🙂
I’m busy. We’re all busy. But if I want to write, then I’ll do it when I can and not feel guilty about when I can’t. Because I’m not Wonder Woman, I’m Real World Mom. And if I stop wasting so much time kicking myself for not writing more, maybe I’ll actually get some other things done and clear a few minutes for — gasp! — writing a few more sentences.
Your turn: What do you think? How do you juggle it all and not feel guilty? I’d love to know!