Writing and Giving Thanks

I know, I’m a day late again.  I’m sorry, but our homeschool co-op had their Performance Night last night where the kids get to display work they’ve done in some of their classes, and they get to perform things like skits, Bible recitations, music and songs from other classes.  It was almost my bedtime when we got home, and instead of booting up the computer to post here, I sat down and read a couple of chapters in a book.  Why?  Because I have found if I read before bed, I sleep well.  However, if I do anything else before bed, especially anything on the computer or writing related, I cannot sleep because my brain won’t stop.  Does anyone else have this problem?

Now, let’s get to the real post:  Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and I have lots to be thankful for, and some of it is writing related.  For the past year, I have been immersing myself in books on writing and in participating in the Lancaster Christian Writers’ to hone my craft after having taken so many years off from writing.  I have written a little bit during the past year, but not like I want to.

That’s what I am thankful for — I am finally gearing up and writing seriously.  Over the past week or two I was feeling frustrated because I have a burning desire to write, but am still struggling with finding time to write.  I know what you’re thinking, if you really want to write, you’ll make time (I’ve heard this many times before), but homeschooling two children and being taxi for three children, doing the housework (which, thankfully, the kids help with), and cooking, especially as we are trying to eat much healthier and not eat processed, pre-packaged foods takes a lot of time.  However, because of the changes I have made in my eating habits, I have more energy than I’ve had in a long time, which has enabled me to see how things would work if I got up two hours before the kids each morning to write, and guess what, it’s been working.  Now, I will admit, I haven’t been successfully disciplined enough to do it everyday yet, but, hey, three or four times a week is a pretty good start, and sometimes, I actually do have a couple of hours in an afternoon to devote to writing.

Also, I have been working on a story, but I am approaching this story much differently than any story I have written before.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I have always been a “pantser”, meaning I simply sit down and write with no outline or map of any kind.  This time I’ve decided to try doing planning and outlining before actually writing the story, so I am still in the planning/outlining stage, which doesn’t feel like real writing to me yet because it hasn’t come naturally to me, though it is working well.  I see the value of it.  Therefore, I will continue working on the planning/outlining and then write the story once the map is laid out.

Because the planning/outlining doesn’t feel like real writing to me, I decided that I also need to just sit down and write whatever comes into my head, as this will help me to write everyday, and to be able to write something that feels like it flows because it’s going back to “pantsing”.  That is working wonderfully.

In addition to that, I have decided to do what Jeanette Windle of Lancaster Christian Writers’ keeps telling us — to write other things while we are working on stories/books; things that are shorter, that we can submit and earn some money from while working on the longer projects.  Therefore, I wrote a children’s devotion this week and submitted it to a children’s/family devotional magazine, and I am looking for other places where I can submit articles or short stories while I write my longer projects.

This has been a good week that has given me a feeling of accomplishment and has given me the boost I needed to feed the desire to write and to be more determined to accomplish the discipline I need to MAKE THE TIME TO WRITE!

When do you write?  Have you struggled with finding/making the time to write?

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