Sunday, February 3, 2013

Working Around Life

Posted by: Regan Summers

Photo From: International-critics

Real life has the terrible habit of inserting itself between you and your goals. There are bills to be paid, illnesses to endure, the crises of family and friends. There are small spaces filled with loud little people and long commutes that carve hours out of your personal clock.

And eventually you look up, and months or years have passed and you’re no closer to your goal, whether it’s to bike across the state, restore the hardwood floors in your house or write a novel.

This isn’t how it has to be.

Sometimes it is difficult to insert the concept of a large goal into the small pieces of free time in your busy life. That doesn’t mean the goal is impossible. It just means that it needs to be reconfigured. Real life isn’t going to go away, but your goals don’t have to cede to it.

Take writing that novel. Writing and editing eighty to a hundred thousand words is a daunting task. But what about ten thousand? A thousand? Two hundred and fifty?

250. That’s a single page.

But, by writing that mere 250 words, that single page, each day, you’ll have a novel complete inside of a year. How long does it take to write that? That, of course, depends on the writer. But if writing a novel is your goal, and you find yourself stealing time in order to do it, I’d wager you would write that page inside of 20 minutes.

Sometimes, making the time and space to follow your
dreams comes at the price of your dignity. Deal with it.
Where will you find that time each day? That’s one and one third coffee breaks, for those who take them. That’s a notebook on the lap for the bus ride there and back. That’s the kids in the tub at night or sitting at the Laundromat waiting for the spin cycle to finish.

There are 20 minutes in each day that you can shape until they belong to you. And it doesn’t matter if the house is full of people or kids. There are coffee shops and benches and stairwells all over the world, waiting to welcome you for that repurposed time. All you have to do is decide you’re going to take it.

* * *
Regan Summers has a day job, a night job and a child. If stealing time were a felony, she'd be a repeat offender with no chance of parole, and she'd be just fine with that since she's pretty sure you're allowed to sleep in prison. Her Night Runner urban fantasy series is available now from Carina Press.

Regan can be found roaming the Internet at Website  Twitter  Facebook

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  1. I wrote my first book at the one page per day pace. It took me about three months to produce a first draft--it was a very short book.

    Right now I need to apply this advice to packing.


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