Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time to Write---Time to Think

In the early days of my young motherhood, I had lots of time to think. My toddlers required a lot of time and attention, but not much brain power. I could help them build block towers or else watch them run around at the park while secretly plotting out novels in my head. When washing dishes or folding laundry, my mind ran free, scheming up stories and visualizing scenes.

But I didn't have time to write. My eyes and my hands were constantly busy. It made me crazy, having all those stories pile up inside me. So eventually I found time, made time to write. When my youngest child reached his toddler years I started to write in earnest. I decided to make a career out of it, called it my part-time job I didn't get paid for yet.

Then everything changed. My oldest children entered the teenage years. Teenagers require a lot of time and attention, and some serious brain power. I've got schedules to coordinate and real-life dramas to untangle. Now my children help with the housework, but as we wash the dishes or sort laundry together we talk about the doings of the day. I love this. It's a stage of my life I've been looking forward to for many years.

But when do I have quiet time to think?

Too often lately, I sit down at the computer and realize I haven't taken any time to think about my story since the last time I wrote. So instead of pouring the words out like I used to, I just sit and wonder what to write next.

I made time to write when there wasn't any. Now I'm just going to have to make time to think.

Maybe next year when the youngest one starts Kindergarten.

Okay, busy moms of older children, how do you find time to think?


  1. Rebecca, your post made me smile. I hear you with the no time to think thing. I give my brain pre-sleep thinking assignments. It helps a lot. Not only do I get some novel thinking in, my subconscious often takes over in my dreams. I also think plots and characters while I excercise. Hmmm, maybe that's why my characters often seem to be in pain. :)

  2. Good ideas, Leisha. I sometimes get some thinking time in while I'm driving, but that can be dangerous. Oops, was that a stop sign?

  3. I hear ya Rebecca! Same goes here. And I do what Leisha said, too. Exercise particularly. I started running so I would have the MOST BORING exercise plan ever, and I run outside so that once I head out I have to keep going in order to get back again! None of that treadmill, stop when you want stuff. Lots of time to think (and listen to podcasts that inspire)!

    That's the great tradeoff with older kids: you can leave them for an hour or two. Cops don't like it much when you do that with toddlers. :)

  4. That exercise idea sounds great! Get two things done at once. That's my style.

    I've also found it good to have a writing project I'm super-excited about. I recently switched from one that felt like a chore to one I adore, and I find I'm thinking about it all the time without trying.



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