How do we make writing a priority when life seems destined to get in our way? Jobs, family, and the daily events of life are wonderful and necessary things. But they can cut into our writing time if we let them. So how do we take control and find time to write without letting other important aspects of life hold us back?
Today I’m happy to let Katie Swaney share her thoughts on this topic. She has some great suggestions on how to find balance between making writing a priority and living a hectic life. She knows from personal experience how hard it can be and what can happen when we lose sight of our writing ambition. So listen to her great advice on how to prioritize writing!
How to Make Writing a Priority in Your Life
Make Writing a Priority by Remembering Why
I’ve always been a writer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve craved the act of writing. Growing up, I wrote anything and everything I could. Plans and lists for our family vacations. Family newsletters. Stories about the epic adventures of my imaginary friends. In case you were wondering, I didn’t write because someone was asking to me to. Let’s be real, the scribblings and ramblings of an 8 year old aren’t too riveting. I wrote because it was in my blood. Writing has always been as much a part of me as my hazel eyes and dishwater blonde hair.
It was easy to incorporate writing in my life growing up. I was the strange kid who relished writing papers for school. I may not have always enjoyed the subject matter, but it was writing. And that’s all that mattered. Unfortunately, as with almost anything in life, the older I got, the harder it was to carve out time to write for no reason at all.
Make Writing a Priority by Balancing Life
Balance became my daily goal. How do I balance a full time job, my relationship, health and wellness, reading, and writing? In short, I didn’t. For years I let the rest of life’s demands get in the way of writing. I told myself it was okay, because I was busy. Busy getting married. Busy advancing my career. Busy with all the excuses I could come up with.
A part of me was missing. I was turning into a duck: everything looked smooth and put together on the surface, but underneath my feet were paddling as fast as possible just to keep me afloat. I forced myself to carve out small chunks of time to write, from using prompts to journaling. I began to feel whole again. Bits and pieces of a story began to formulate in my mind. I started writing it down, letting the story dictate where it was going to go. I felt like I was on fire. But, just like in the past, I let life get in the way. My career continued to change and advance. I had a baby. I had a second baby. I went back to school to get my MBA. I allowed myself to fall back into the routine of not writing. To fall back on the same excuses, again and again.
Make Writing a Priority with Goals and Deadlines
Over the last 18 months, I’ve prioritized writing and challenged myself with goals and deadlines. I finished the first draft of my book just in time for my 31st birthday last year. I told my beta readers when they would get a copy, providing external demand to get the first hard edit done. I still schedule in writing time. Some weeks, I can set a goal for each day. Some weeks, I set a goal for the entire week. If I don’t set the goals, writing will be the first thing to fall to the wayside. And like everything else, that downhill tumble is hard to stop.
I’ve discovered I’m not truly myself when I’m not actively writing creatively. I don’t show up in my life the way I want to. This truth is what I come back to every time I start to question prioritizing something frivolous over writing. The people in my life deserve my best self to show up for them. I deserve my best self. And for me, that begins with prioritizing writing. Every single time.
Meet Katie Swaney
Katie is a proud, life-long book nerd and writer. When she’s not buried in a book or attempting to translate the stories from her mind onto paper, Katie spends most of her time taking care of her two sons (aka The Rugrats). At 5 and 3, they keep her on her toes and provide plenty of story inspiration. Katie is a Young Adult author, leaning heavily towards fantasy and fairy tale inspired stories. She’s currently editing her first novel with plans to self-publish this summer.
Find Katie on social (FB, Insta, Twitter) @kswaneywriter or at her website: www.katieswaney.com.