One of the first things people ask me when they find out I write is, “How do you find the time?” I work full time, and have two school-aged kids. Our calendar is pretty full. Finding the time wasn’t a conscious effort. I don’t have a writing schedule. With the exception of National Novel Writing Month, I rarely write every day. Sometimes, I just don’t have the time. More of the time, I simply don’t have the energy or focus needed.
But when I need to write, I write. I steal minutes and moments here and there.
I do know the real answer to how I find the time. My laundry sits in baskets. There are dust bunnies colonizing. But mostly, I’ve stopped watching TV. I nod politely as people discuss who died on Game of Thrones. I feign interest as people re-hash who died on The Walking Dead (what is it with people dying in all these shows?). I pretend to be excited over the latest episode of Better Call Saul or American Horror Story or Supernatural. I’ve never seen a single episode of any of them.
A big nope for Downton Abby as well.
Not because they’re not good shows. I’m sure they are. I just can’t do both. There aren’t enough minutes in my day. I can’t get Netfix and binge on Orange is the New Black, as much as I might want to. Something had to give. And TV it was. If I ever allow myself to binge on Nexflix, I’m pretty sure I’d never stop, and as a result, never write another book. That’s not acceptable.
For a while, I didn’t mind the sacrifice. Sometimes, now I do. There are nights when I don’t want to write. When I want to just let my mind go and watch TV. But now, unless it’s a re-run of Friends or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I have no idea what’s going on in any show. Which sometimes sucks, because then there’s nothing I can watch. Or sure, TLC and HGTV are always there for me, but even sometimes, they don’t have anything good on. And I’ve pretty much seen every episode of Rehab Addict. Twice.
Even tonight, I’m drained. I want to go to bed. I had an offer to go see Civil War with my mom and brother. I might have liked to, but other than the original Iron Man, I haven’t seen any of the Marvel movies. I don’t watch Agents of SHIELD. I could probably figure out what is going on, but last I knew, Captain America and Iron Man were on the same team, so now I’m totally confused. I could probably spend an entire weekend watching the Marvel movies. But I don’t. Because I write.
It seems like a small price to pay for having this outlet to express myself and hopefully, bring some escape to others.
I don’t think missing out on the latest Real Housewives is that much of a sacrifice, after all. Not being able to write—that would be the sacrifice.