2 Writing Tips for a Busy Life

Black corgi wearing viking hat looking confused
Black corgi wearing viking hat looking confused
Edmund understands a busy life.

I get it.

Life is super chaotic and it’s hard to sit down and commit to writing something.

And, it’s truthfully the biggest thing that stops people from pursuing the dream of writing and publishing. I know for a long time it was my excuse.

And when I say writing, this really can be applied to any passion project. Learning a new language; that rad DIY project you saw on Pinterest; composting; these are all things that take time but we’d love to get done.

There are a lot of people out there with a lot of tips about the mechanics of this. Today, I just want to give you two principles to remember when things get hard and seem unattainable.

So let’s dive in:

1. Find your cracks in the time wall.

Even as I write this, I could be doing final preparations for my upcoming dissertation defense. (Yes, friends, I’m going to be Dr. Samantha reeeeaaaalllll soon.) But in this year alone, I’ve written and published three books AND written and research a Ph.D. dissertation, all while maintaining my duties as a Research Fellow. Friends, that’s a busy life.

I wrote most of these over lunch breaks and random moments in the evening when nothing else was happening but some TV watching. Although my husband was supportive, this is the key element of finding the crack in my time wall: I claimed those moments for myself.

You cannot see your passion project come to life without taking time to do it. I also protect my weekends fiercely to make time for my husband, so I don’t write then unless he’s out and I have no other plans.

2. Embrace Your Untamed Side

PSA: this isn’t about advocating bad life choices. This tip is about letting go of perfection and JUST DOING IT. We are so groomed and domesticated to be the best 24/7. I don’t know about you, but as much as I want to embody Beyonce’s catchy phrase, “I woke up like this,” I was really more ratchet with the classic this morning. And that’s ok.

Writing is messy, and you should see what author drafts look like. Just bleeding red from edits. The key thing to remember though is that editing comes after the writing. Editing is not about criticism. It’s about polishing up your work to be the best it can be; and the best editors do their work with a great amount of love.

So embrace your untamed side and write that imperfect draft while listening to your choice of music, in your jammies, with dance breaks in between. Live your life and take joy in your work. You’ll break free from convention and feel better for it. As paradoxical as it sounds, don’t let the monotony of a busy life tame you.

For reference, I either listen to mindless music or instrumental. I break for dancing.

You can do it. It’s worth the effort. And don’t overcomplicate what needs to just be done. I believe in you.

What’s been your busy life hold up from pursuing the passion project? Let me know in the comments below!

In Courage & Care,

Samantha

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2 thoughts on “2 Writing Tips for a Busy Life

  1. Jeanne Meadows says:

    Thank you for this. It’s nice to know that other author’s can be as messy as I am. I have found that you can never write a book- you have to re-write it and re-write it several times-maybe up to twenty times. It does take patience and time. I find my best time is early in the morning. My first book “Resolute” was written that way and it did take me four years but with working full time as a RN Case Manager and spending weekends with my family- well I found my crack in time.

    1. S.A. Borders-Shoemaker says:

      You sure did! I think it’s so important to ensure that we are kind to ourselves through the process. If you want to get it done quickly, then that’s excellent! If you want to ensure you have enough energy to spread between the other parts of your life, that is the path to take! I know for myself that I vacillate between wanting to get a project done sooner and taking my time on others. I have several family members and close friends who are in the medical field, so I have some insight into how chaotic your work could be.

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