Inspired Writer
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Inspired Writer

Finding the Right Time to Write in a Covid 19 World

Hint: It Doesn’t Exist

Image by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Finding time to write these days is hard. I, like so many of us, have been home 24/7 since March of this year. The days stretch out ahead of us, 24 empty hours to fill every day. It’s such a gift. But also, an endless, cantankerous battle of what to do when.

In the morning my brain is fresh, creative, full of stories. The day is full of possibility. There’s nothing better than writing at my desk with a hot cup of coffee and a quiet house filled with morning light.

But that’s the ideal.

In our household mornings are busy. All our fur babies are up- our cats howling for breakfast, our puppy leaping about ready to go on a walk. A blur of fur goes by- he’s chasing the cats again. My amazing husband is making us breakfast, dried dishes need to be put away from dinner last night, the kitchen needs to be cleaned up after breakfast. We chatter away about all the things we want to get done for work that day. All the while calls and messages are flooding into our phones, notifications nonstop. And we don’t even have kids yet- mornings are only going to get busier.

In the afternoon there is time. The morning business has crescendoed, all of us are fed, the kitchen is clean, people are busy with their days- but now my mind is buzzing. The morning bluster has flooded my brain with work, my to-do list, errands to run, people to call back, birthday gifts to order, the rest of the house that needs to be cleaned, and did I just step in dog pee?

I sit down at my desk and open my laptop.

I answer emails, catch up in my planner, look over our bank account, order said birthday gifts, see an article I pitched last week just got published. Yay!! Going to announce that to my email list and social media, confirm my doctor’s appointment for tomorrow, call my agent back- by the time I get to writing I feel antsy.

I need to move.

So I work out. Surely that will help! It does, a bit. And then I get back to writing. And suddenly it’s evening, and time to figure out dinner, take the dog on another walk, and attend to the zoom dates we set up with family and friends. I feel like this happens every day.

When the hell am I supposed to write?

Image by Djim Loic on Unsplash

The philosophy I most love in life is that we are in charge of our life and our choices, we are free. No we are not in charge of the world and yes sickness could strike us down at any time. But I mean on the smaller scale. We are in charge of our schedules, the responsibilities we agree to, and what we allow to let our days be. We are not victim to our circumstances, we are agreeing to them by living them out every day. We are in charge of the days we claim to have no time to write in.

We all know that we have to make time in life for the important things. But I’m learning that all important things require boundaries.

Sometimes setting boundaries in this new, virtual world feels like a battle. Finding the time and space to concentrate in these times where everyone is home all the time, on their phones 24/7, and expecting your time and attention can feel impossible. But how lucky to have people who love you and want you, how lucky to have work that matters enough that it requires setting these boundaries.

I’m finding I have to treat my writing like a work meeting. No one can interrupt me. Logistically that means that sometimes the dog has to wait until dad can take him on a walk because mom is writing. Sometimes that means emails/phone calls/notifications have to wait and I have to tell loved ones I can’t talk even if we’ve been playing phone tag for 2 weeks. Sometimes that means holing up at my desk and ignoring the messy house and my thoughts of the perfect lunch- I can make a quick snack and get back to writing. And if I’m tired of having to escape in order to concentrate and I’m hell-bent on having those quiet mornings? Then I can get my butt up early before the household wakes! I haven’t done that yet, I’m a morning sleepy head. But it’s an option!

Because I am in charge. I am free.

And because of that I’m finding I just have to write. No matter what. We’re all home, all the time. My work matters, my loved ones matter and dancing that jig of finding the balance is just another part of 2020.

I created this 30-day writing challenge to prove to myself that I can make time to write every day. So far I’m finding if I write first thing before *any*thing else- before checking my email, making breakfast, walking the dog- it happens. It may or may not feel like the perfect time, but that’s okay. Because it’s still happening.

I’m excited to keep at it. I hope you do too.

This is Day 5, Prompt 5 of my 30 Prompts for 30 Days Journey! The Prompt was: Write about something presently in your life that is “worth it”. Follow my 30 day journey here!

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Asha Noel Iyer

Asha Noel Iyer

Writer, Coffee Lover, Cat Mom. Writer for Society19 & @thriveglobal. Sign up for my mailing list: https://tinyletter.com/ashanoeliyer