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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

IWSG-something's gotta go.

It's that time again: Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh where we share our doubts and fears in this challenging and wonderful world of writing.
Where was I in June you ask? At WIFYR and visiting family of course. But don't worry, I'm sticking around for the rest of the summer and looking forward to catching up on your blogs.
To write we have to give something up and I haven't found a comfortable balance. I'm always worrying that I'm spreading myself too thin, giving too much to my writing, too little to my family, not sleeping enough so I'm on the verge of a cold, and possibly heading to a mental breakdown. Writing is hard. Determining to write, and make the time for it, is even harder.

At the Writers and Illustrators for Young Readers conference this past month Mette Ivie Harrison gave a talk entitled "Finding Time To Write." The entire talk reminded me of the father in Cheaper by the Dozen. Mette finds the most efficient ways to workout (down to the individual steps), quickest way to unload her dishwasher (she can do it in 30 sec), and she no longer cleans her house or does any yard work (she showed us pictures as proof). She told us this great story of a Kirby salesman coming to her house and she had him clean her bedroom carpet and realized that it hadn't been vacuumed in the 18 months they'd lived in that house. Yikes!

While I haven't gone to her extremes, here is a list of the big things I've let go for writing. In the end I hope it's worth it. 

1. Exercise time
Running in the early morning (because this is my one undivided writing time)

2. Sleep
I write best from 5 to 7 in the morning.

3. Money
Couponing. It can run your life, tracking down deals, organizing coupons, and rebates.

My savings towards my dream trip to Alaska. I spent half of it to attend WIFYR in 2011

4. Cleanliness
My house doesn't get the attention it once did.

Showering? Getting dressed? Totally optional.

A Kirby salesman actually came to my house yesterday and while in the past I'd let him come and make some portion of my house spotless, I sent him packing, plaid shirt and all. No way could I get writing done while he's here trying to sell me a ridiculously expensive vacuum.

5. Driving my kiddos to school
 Hello bus, I know you're awful and where I learned all about S-E-X and cuss words, but here are my children.

6. Time with my husband
One night a week he watches the kids so I can have 3 hrs of kid free writing time.

7. Time with other adults
Story time at the library and playgroup with my church

What have you given up? And is it worth it? Have you found a balance?


  1. Hmmm...let's see...I've given up a major amount of cleanliness (that's probably the biggest thing); I've given up almost all TV and movies (I used to watch something every night and now it's more like once or twice a week); I've given up a large portion of sanity (tee hee); and I've given up changing out of my PJs unless I'm leaving the house. I think those things are worth it to me. What I'm trying to be more careful of lately is not giving up family time. That should be non-negotiable!

    1. sanity- definitely should have been on my list:)

  2. Yeah. Clean house is the biggest for me. I think I'm finally going to cave and get a maid. I don't watch TV anymore, but I do like a movie once a week (although I'm usually taking mental notes about characters, plot development, etc.) And of course sleep. Who needs it?

    1. I didn't even consider tv, we gave it up a long time ago. We do movies sometimes, but I don't have any shows to consume my time. Now my list is getting longer:)

  3. It's a juggling act! I've given up things that didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, like excessive computer gaming. I have cut back on my movies and time with my wife, but fortunately she's very understanding.
    Now I just need to hire someone to mow my yard...
    Oh, and did you know word verification is still on?

    1. Thanks for commenting Alex. I just turned off word verification again. Thanks for letting me know.

  4. It's hard, isn't it? I've given up housekeeping entirely, much to my husband's chagrin. PART of my time though, came about naturally as my kids got older. I used to read 45 minutes with each of them--at middle school, first one and then the other quit, giving me 90 minutes EVERY night...

    1. Goof point. When my littles get older I'll def. have more time to write. For now I have 4, 8 years old to 8 months. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  5. Yep, my list is identical. lol

    It's a sacrifice, but our art is worth it. I've learned that family is the only thing that really needs to come before writing, but exercise is a close second and must be allotted for or will be neglected. :)

  6. Funny ... but kinda scary and sad ... but funny. It sounds like you're spreading yourself too thin, but at least you haven't lost your sense of humor! :-)

  7. No TV for me, but I can't let go of the cleaning...yet. Unfortunately for me, I have a hard time writing if my house is trashed. Someday I'll hire a maid.

    Someday....A girl can dream? Right?

  8. Most days I'm happy to give up showering and TV and regular vacuuming, but I'd love to spend more time outside. I need sunshine!

  9. Hi! Thank you for coming by my blog!

    For me, it's been couponing and non-fiction writing activities. Not only was I an avid frugal liver, I was an avid frugal living blogger, and I made some decent money writing columns and blog posts and doing affiliate marketing with it.

    Oh, and I've quit my job, but that's been more a function of having another baby (something I am apparently NOT willing to give up), than of wanting to write more.