My life is a tornado. Sometimes kids, house stuff, homeschooling, church work, therapist duties, chickens, and everything else pull me into a frenzy of activity that I fear I will never escape. So, how to write?
1. Take advantage of the quiet moments: There's always an eye in the storm. The baby is quiet. The phone isn’t ringing. The older kids are playing cooperatively. You are doing the dishes and you are alone! Take this time to write in your mind. I actually thought of this post today in the car on the way home from a dr.’s appointment. I got home, typed this up, and walla!
2. Carry a notebook or smart phone with you at all times: Strong winds will carry your ideas away, so write them down immediately! Even if you can’t write hundreds of words a day, writing even one word a day can be inspiring (see PiBoIdMo). If you have a way to record your ideas when they come, you’ll get more writing done! My little pink notebook accompanies me everywhere.
3. Turn off the Internet: A tornado can only affect whatever is in the mix. Although facebook and twitter are entertaining, they seem to swallow time faster than a good book. Notice when you’re just surfing the web and turn it off, so you can turn your writing on.
4. Make a schedule: Wind storms are easier to handle when you know what to expect. Look at your calendar for open spaces and fill them with WRITING! Just seeing that on my calendar makes me happy, even if the wildness of the day (or my children) deters me from actually writing. But seriously, keep your appointments for writing. It will only make you happy.
5. Make writing a priority: Hang on to what you love and it won't get lost in the storm. If you find yourself mindlessly watching TV because you’re tired at night, turn the T.V. off and write or go to bed and set your alarm for 10 minutes early. Write for just those 10 minutes. Notice how meeting your muse early in the morning makes you feel.
Feeling good? Then take life's tornado by the tail and spin your story!
Kirsti Call is a homeschooling mom of five. Her debut picture book, The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall, came out last December. Her family band, Calling Out, plays songs written by her children. She contributes to Writer's Rumpus, and Kids are Writers. If you visit her house, you might find writing a word or two in her pink notebook! You can find out more about her at www.kirsticall.com.
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