On Writing & Making Sacrifices.

It’s sad but true; I seem to have a bit of an obsession with time.  Time needed to spend with my family, time needed to write in order to be published and build my writers platform.  We all have the same hours in the day, yet I’m finding that maintaining a balance with everything required to become a writer these days can be quite daunting.  Here are the top five on my list of sacrifices:-

  • Housework.  Now let’s face it, we could all do without this one!  I read recently in a magazine an author let her housework pile up for a year to concentrate on writing her novel.  After leaving her housework for so long, I can just imagine it would have taken months to clean it all up; imagine the amount of antique dust!  Personally, I don’t think I could let the housework go for that long.  Maybe just not obsess about it so much; housework is after all a thankless task.
  • Watching television.  Okay, guilty once again, yet I don’t watch as much as a lot of other people, which is a good thing.  I probably wouldn’t watch more than about five shows in an entire week, though I can sometimes be guilty of watching what I own on DVD.  So watching less DVDs ought to do the trick – they’re not going anywhere.
  • Sleep.  This is a tricky one.  I could certainly do with less sleep in order to keep up with other things, yet sleep is required to re-charge the batteries.  I don’t know about you, but unfortunately, the older I seem to be getting, the more beauty sleep I need!  Whilst doing my studies, after the kids have gone to bed, I generally hop onto the computer to do more work.  Believe me, at the end of the day, all I want to do is crash, and there are times when I really have to force myself, yet before I know it, when I look at the clock, it can usually be between 11pm and midnight.  Applying this rule to writing forces you to keep going (just make sure you have the internet turned off!)
  • Internet/Social Networks.  Here’s another catch-22.  Writers need to connect with other writers and make sure they are building their platform.  The way I go around this one, I wrote about in an earlier post.  Go on to social networks after you’ve finished your writing for the day to reward yourself; you’ll feel better for doing so and be willing to talk to others of your achievements.
  • Reading.  Yes, you probably think I’ve gone mad and I probably have because this is the hardest sacrifice I have to make!  It’s not that I could give reading up altogether – that’s impossible! – it’s just that I need to read less.  Reading inspires me to keep writing and I find pleasure in creating my own stories more.  Read in moderation, yet write in excess!

What sacrifices are you prepared to make for your writing career?

22 thoughts on “On Writing & Making Sacrifices.

  1. I sacrificed housework years ago!

    The internet is the big one for me. I could spend all day checking out everyone else’s blogs, but then I’d never get any writing done. I’m still trying to find the balance there.

    1. Debbie Johansson 12/09/2011 — 3:21 am

      LOL Jen! I agree – housework – who needs it? The internet is always the killer though; it’s hard to resist at times. Best of luck with it and thanks for stopping by!

  2. I had the same list when I as raising my children. Like Jen, ‘Housework’ never quite got to the top of the list. Now that they’re gone, I still don’t do it! ‘Reading’ though–lots of that.

  3. Debbie Johansson 12/09/2011 — 3:28 am

    Hi Jacqui. I’m with you – reading I can never do away with. Some women may obsess over a pair of shoes – I just prefer to do it with books! 😉

  4. Very Interesting post. I often think of the same. I’m not too happy about giving up a bit of reading as reading fuels my writing but something got to give. Thanks for visiting my blog btw!

    1. Debbie Johansson 13/09/2011 — 1:15 am

      Hi, thanks for stopping by. I’m quite prepared to give up the housework, but not reading. Like you, it fuels my writing. It’s a pleasure meeting you. 🙂

  5. I’m like you where I don’t watch much tv. Sometimes at night I feel guilty because I’d love to hide away in my writing room and write, but I haven’t seen my husband all day and he likes to watch tv together at night. I quit Facebook for two months and got so much more done! Then I was sucked back in.

    1. Debbie Johansson 13/09/2011 — 1:27 am

      Hi Lisa. Good to ‘see’ you on my blog. Giving up shows like Dexter – now that would never happen! 😉

      Good on you for giving up Facebook for two months and getting some writing done. Getting suckered back in is the curse of the social networks. I think during the early stages of a writing career, one may need to spend about 50% of their time on them – it’s just knowing when to stop to do the other 50% which involves the actual writing.

      Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you on Facebook! 😉

  6. I love this post! I was nodding my way through it. My housework definitely suffers. And I hardly watch any TV now. I need quite a good stretch of sleep as I suffer with migraines and a lack of sleep is my trigger. Cutting down on Social Networks is the one I find hard. But essential. You have the right idea when you say use it to treat yourself when the writing is done. I don’t get much reading time at home, but I do love reading when I have free time if I go away for a break or something. Nice to meet you. I am in your short story campaign group.

    1. Debbie Johansson 13/09/2011 — 1:47 am

      Hi Rebecca. Sorry to hear about the migraines; my sister gets them pretty bad, so I understand your need for sleep.

      I’ve learned to put up with the ‘lived in look’ around the house, tape everything I watch on television so that I can watch them at a time that suits me, and slowed down my amount of reading. My biggest time waster is social media, more so now that I’ve become part of the campaign. However, I am enjoying the campaign and meeting new people, like yourself; I’ve just got to learn when to stop!

      Thanks for stopping by. It’s a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to seeing more of you throughout the campaign. 🙂

  7. I find social networking most time consuming. Housework and TV, I can skip them happily.

    Every Savage Can Reproduce

    1. Debbie Johansson 13/09/2011 — 10:39 am

      Hi Enid. Thanks for stopping by. I have to agree with you 100%! 😉

  8. My bete noire is the internet. I can easily procrastinate far too much through emails and blogging… but as you say it’s a catch-22. Sigh.

    I’ve just listed you as a recipient of the Versatile Blogger Award. You can find the details on this post on my blog: http://elizabethannewrites.com/2011/09/13/im-a-versatile-blogger/

    1. Debbie Johansson 15/09/2011 — 5:19 am

      H Elizabeth, good to see you again. Thanks for putting my name down for the Versatile Blogger Award! I’ll be sure to visit your blog and have something typed up for my blog next week. Many thanks – I knew joining the campaign would be fun! 😉

  9. I hear you! Sleep is something I WONT give up, but I do sometimes listen to a creative writers’ hypnosis recording on my iPhone as I go to sleep, I find that and the breathing exercises helps me form a clearer picture of what I want to achieve from my current WIP and also gives me groovy creative dreams to record. I also feel more rested and able to create the next day.
    I’ve also been listening to a lot of audiobooks whenever I drive or walk as a way to squeeze in more reading when I don’t have the time to sit down.
    Good luck finding that ‘more time’ and let us know if you find the secret 🙂
    Fellow Campaigner from the Aus/NZ 🙂
    Wagging Tales – Blog for Writers

    1. Debbie Johansson 15/09/2011 — 5:30 am

      Hi Charmaine, thanks for stopping by my blog. I might have to try your technique for sleeping – it could help clear my head after a busy day. I’ve listened to a couple of audio books too and I could probably do with listening to some more; I find they help me with my dialogue. It’s a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to seeing more of you throughout the campaign.

  10. What’s housework? 🙂
    I don’t watch TV, so that’s not a problem. I do need to sleep at least some (alas!) and I LOVE to read, so that’s a hard one to part with but I try to keep it to a reasonable level. For me, the big one is social networking. It’s a HUGE time draw. And it’s necessary. But I think I need to come up with a better system… get out the kitchen timer and limit myself to a finite amount of time after my writing is done for the day or something.

  11. Debbie Johansson 16/09/2011 — 2:28 am

    Hi Susanna, I know what you mean about social networks. The kitchen timer sounds like a good idea – I might have to resort to that one too! Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to reading more of your posts now that I’ve subscribed. 🙂

  12. I feel like I shouldn’t comment on the grounds that I may incriminate myself! But yes, I take a perverse pride in a sink full of dirty dishes because it means I have my priorities right. And yes, TV doesn’t get much of a look in these days…

    I think sleep is sometimes on my sacrifice list too, though I don’t recommend it to others!

    1. Debbie Johansson 19/09/2011 — 3:45 am

      Hi Adina, I know what you mean about the dishes piling up. As I type this, my dishes are ready and waiting for me to wash them so that they can make another mess in the kitchen later tonight! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  13. It was refreshing to read this today! I’m struggling with working 45 hours a week (not on writing, sadly), keeping up with housework, blogging, writing deadlines, Nano-prep work for this year (I can only imagine my life when Nano actually starts), and currently traveling almost every weekend between now and Nano. EEK! That doesn’t count sleep, cooking, grocery shopping, etc. etc. It’s tough, isn’t it? =)

    1. Debbie Johansson 19/09/2011 — 3:50 am

      Hi Lissa. I hear you! Like you, I’m finding it difficult to fit everything in, but I’m learning to weigh up my priorities and learning to let some things go. Best of luck with it and best of luck with NaNo too!

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