Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I am a teacher who is also an aspiring writer. I have a great idea for a series of
young adult novels, with a spin no one has taken before. I’m a good writer and
have coached others, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to coach myself
to find creative time. I work five days a week and have a husband, house,
chickens, and volunteer work calling on my time. But I finally have a place to
write. Our son has moved out and I appropriated his room into my writing studio.
Everything is set up but the big blank is my big butt in the chair. Hellllpppppp!!!
Creative time has to be made, not found. There will always be a long list of things
ahead of it, that can be seen as daily necessities not the “luxury” that writing may
seem to others. If you want to make your dream come true, it will have to rise
higher on your priority list and you will need to work hard to keep it there.
Congratulations for making a place to work. Now make time to be there.
You need to pick a number of hours a week to do this, say 20 to start. I am
eyeballing 2 hours a day weekdays, and three each on weekends. That may
mean getting up earlier or staying up later, getting our husband to assume more
household and cooking responsibilities, giving up a volunteer commitment, or
other seemingly large schedule shifts. But once you put them in place and stick
to them for a month, they will become accepted routing. Go into your study with a
pot of tea and no phone or other distractions. Do not respond to anything except
the house on fire. If you cannot write, then plot. If you cannot plot, then do back-
story exercises for your characters. Make this book as important to you as your
family for the next six months. Then take stock of your progress. You’ll know
what to do next.