What Stops you writing?

Like many parents, I’ve had to cope with constant interruptions when writing as well as writer’s guilt – shouldn’t I be playing that game of Monopoly/frisbee/football I’ve been promising? Someone always needs to be ferried somewhere, the dog needs walking and in those little moments of calm the phone rings…

On top of this, doubts about my writing hold me back.  But having looked at hundreds of reviews of books I’ve read, I’ve come to realise that it’s not realistic to expect everyone to love your writing. Even hugely successful authors have their share of one star reviews and scathing comments. Accepting you will never please everyone can free you up to take more risks and follow your instinct.

Another habit of mine is to edit as I go which is fine in theory but if you only have a small pocket of time this can mean you spend the whole time tinkering and not move forward. My new rule for myself is to write at least some new content before revising what I wrote last time.

On the bright side, having only short bursts of time can help focus your writing as there’s no time to faff around. It helps if you have a regular time slot. For example, I wrote most of Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings in a sports centre coffee shop during my daughters’ dance classes.

I’ve reached the conclusion that sometimes it’s best to just write – even if it’s only five minutes here and there. Because those little five minute sessions will add up to something worthwhile.

What’s your experience? How do you make time to write?


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