Life happens but when we have a calling, we need to make space to walk in it.
Often in my years since being contracted in 2008, I’ve had people ask me how do I find the time to write? They say their lives are so busy, it’s impossible to write. And I get it—times are rough. But the plain fact is that life will always intervene. It’s kind of like God when you tell him your plans. He’s all, “Really? Is that so? Well, let me show you . . .”
*Cue massive boulder rolling straight out of Indiana Jones to wreck your plans*
Okay, yes—that’s a bit facetious, but it’s true. Life is real. Life is raw. Life is ROUGH. But as a writer who is being published, whether indie or traditional, you have deadlines. A schedule that must be kept or that infamous domino stumbles and unleashes its chaos.
Right now, I’m doing edits on my eighteenth and nineteenth novels—both are content/macro edits, job and finances woes have hit hard, Irma hit my daughters, twins hit college and driving . . . blah blah blah LIFE. Blah blah blah. LIFE.
See? Life doesn’t quit.
And neither do I. As my husband always says, “What is there to quit to?”
So, I write on. Because it’s what I love and I refuse to let the stressors of life crush that passion. So, how do I do it? Nothing fancy. Just raw determination (which is a massive dose of that Irish stubbornness that says, “oh, yeah? Just watch!”), and a handful of things that I started doing this year:
My husband is a notorious list maker. I’ve always taunted him over this and his intimate knowledge of spreadsheets. It’s a little obscene. Or so I thought, until life rushed in with floods of stress and deadlines. I had to get–*whispers* organized. I started with Mini Emergent Task Planner. It’s simple. And that’s what I needed—not another detailed, complicated thing. I had plenty of those already. This one breaks down what I have to do it into MAJOR tasks (only room for three) and “Got extra time?” tasks—with lines for four more. That’s what I use for my week. I prioritize, then GO!
Yeah, remember that “not complicated” thing? Well, same thing happened when I saw amazing author Robin Carroll posting her Happy Planner pages. They were so pretty. And I wanted pretty, another way for my creativity to get unlocked. So, I opted for the week-at-a-glance pages for bigger projects and life events. At the end of the week, I rewarded myself for surviving the week and demands on my time by embellishing these pages with pretties and pictures.
3. Be Ruthless
I’m not even kidding. Be ruthless—in protecting your time and energy. Social media can become a black hole of time, sapping energy. In fact, a research study found that people generally come away from social media less happy and less confident. Now, I limit my time online. However, I still hang out for a while because I have family in Ireland that I try to stay connected with through that online platform.
As you accomplish a task, assign a “reward” that is encouraging enough or refills your energy well. Maybe something small—watching an episode of a TV show, or reading a chapter of a new novel. Rewards should be equivalent to the task completed. One of my favorite new rewards is a bath with those delicious-smelling bath bombs. Ironically, thanks to the stunning Tamera Leigh, I’ve learned that lingering in the bath actually forces my mind to quiet down . . . and often unlocks secret pockets of creativity.
So go forth and protect yourself well!
Writing is a gift and a passion that needs a healthy, confident you.
I’m giving away a copy of Crown of Souls.
(U.S. only please)
All you need to do is leave a comment answering the following question:
What do you do to make space for what you love? Maybe it’s writing, but maybe it’s reading or creating in some other way?
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author of over fifteen novels. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband live in beautiful Northern Virginia with their children and a retired military working dog, VVolt N629. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.
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