August 21, 2019 Brian Allain

The Writing Life When Life is Happening 

 

Author:  Myama M. Locke

 

Most writers who have “day jobs”, families, and other obligations find that making time for completing writing projects and freelance writing opportunities quite the challenge.  How do you find the time to entertain the muse, much less to produce quality work?  As a writer, adoptive mother of two children, Social Worker, photographer, and facilitator, I have had to be very intentional about time management as well as what I will say yes and no to.  I have also had to make the most of my writing and giving my best attention to the page.

I am currently working on two books within two separate genres.  This requires quite a bit of intentionality and focus.  I also spend a lot of time reading, which while it is helpful can be distracting.  I choose to map out specific times and locations to write throughout the week, versus trying to write every day (which for me is virtually impossible).  I choose mostly weekends to spend time at coffeehouses or in my office at home, finishing projects and hitting the writing process hard.  Throughout the week, I free write so I can keep myself on track with both books and to satisfy the desire to write.

My children understand that quiet time is part of our home life, which helps them to tap into their own creative endeavors while I am working on my own.  I have heard many writers talk about the challenges of maintaining a family, while living a creative life.  I believe that being intentional with your family will help them understand and contribute in many ways to your writing life.  I don’t shut my girls out of the writing process.  Instead, I try to encourage them to work on self-expression through creativity.  This helps me to stay focused and teaches them the importance of creativity in daily life.

Having a “day job” can either be viewed as frustrating to the writing life or par and parcel to the writing life.  I choose to view it as fuel for what I am writing about.  I work as a Social Worker, and many of the topics in my novel and in my non-fiction work centers around what I do in that field.  When writers use their observation skills, they will find that even in the most mundane daily jobs, there is much to glean from to use in their projects.

Life happens to us all; however, so does good writing, when you are serious about paying attention to it.  It is truly about intertwining the two.  Let’s be intentional about our writing!