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Monday, January 7, 2013

how to find time & space to write

As a mom it is very hard to find time to write (or create). You have to become a master of finding the nuggets of time throughout the day and be ready to take full advantage of them. Here is a list of the ways I am able to get a little bit done here and there through out the day.

Please share your tips in the comments!

  1. The minute you wake up. Grab your journal and write for 5 minutes.

  2. Use the bathroom. Head in for a bath, turn on the fan to block out the noise and relax, write in your mind and then scribble down your idea fragments before you get out. 

 (alternatively, announce that you need to go to the bathroom because you are not feeling well. Voila! You have gained 29 minutes of writing time.)

 3. Write in the car line.
 4. Volunteer to go to the grocery store on your own. Write in the parking lot for 15 minutes, then do your shopping quickly.
 5. While waiting for kids in classes. Do not socialize - use the time to work.
 6. While waiting at the doctors, DMV, etc. Train kids that when you are waiting, you are reading, writing, doing hand work - not always being entertained by mom or the iPhone nanny.

 7. Institute a pre-bedtime writing period. My kids will be calm and write once they are in bed, if I offer an extra 15 minutes to journal. Then I write too.

 8. Set up dates on the calendar and take them. Even and hour or two at the library can be refreshing. Make it a priority - no one else can do that for you.

 9. Write in bed instead of watching TV - knowing that by that time of day you will probably only be writing in fragments. But in a decade, you will cherish those scrambled bits as if they were the finest writing ever.
 10. Use your smart phone to email yourself ideas and jot notes if you do not carry a journal with you.

 11. Write as your kids fall asleep.

 12. Learn to write all day in little snatches. Record ideas, impressions, scents, scenes all day long.


  1. I seem to find lots of moments to create, as I draw and write with my toddlers all day long. Of course, much of it is then taken from my hands and embellished with scribbles, but I think it counts as creativity! Any more serious creating pretty much has to be done when little ones are sleeping.

  2. This is true about all creative pursuits. I find if I try to wait for big blocks of time they don't happen. If I utilize the random bits of time throughout the days I am amazed at what I can create.

  3. We homeschool, so I tend to write when my kids are doing their it math, writing, grammar, etc.

  4. yes!!!! i am constantly emailing ideas to myself and using the voice recorder on my phone to get stuff down when i'm driving and can't right - i've learned i get all the good ideas when i shouldn't be writing (ie, driving, cooking).

  5. Great list.
    I have found moments while the kiddos are busy with their own reading/lego building/ect... I also takes me a really long time to take out the trash (a chore I don't mind as it gets me out to clear my head and think a bit.)

  6. Brilliant collection of ideas Amy; thank you!

  7. My 3 kids are all 4 or under. So we don't have a lot of "waiting in car lines," etc. Unless I turn on a virtual babysitter or hire one, or wait until my DH rescues me (I definitely do the bathroom and me-dates to the library!), my writing just doesn't seem to get done. Their attention spans are short and their needs are high. I'm hoping that soon naptimes will coincide for the 3 and open up some time... but any ideas for those of us with itty bitty ones would be so appreciated!

  8. Amy you are so thoughtful, and I enjoy the blog so much!

    Isn't it funny to be a mom and live like this? I learned a lesson from my husband about always keeping a little, pocketable notebook and pen handy -always! That helped me tremendously.

    My other hangup was always trying to organize my journals and idea-books. I was worrying about perfection before I even started. Now I let the ideas flow, and once it's sketched or written down, I don't try to organize or over-think. I then just sit back and enjoy the task of browsing through my notebook every once in a while to refresh my thinking......I love finding old ideas that I've forgotten about. Nearly as exciting as finding the stray to an unmatched pair of socks!

  9. I have made good friends with the inside of my closet:) I also carry a small notepad on my walks, stuffed deep in my coat pocket with a stubby pencil. And I must say the shower is a hotbed of inspiration for me. I keep a notepad in the drawer alongside the ten year old mascara and red lipstick that never made it out of it's wrapping. I also try to keep separate journals for different book/project ideas. I can't say each and every scrap of paper makes it to its designated journal, but it helps. Thank you for this:) XO

  10. I need to get a voice recorder...I always have all these great ideas while I am cooking (and my hands are covered in tomatoes or grated carrots.) I also have a ton of ideas right before I fall asleep but I never turn on the light to record them out of respect for the man next to me who is already snoozing!

  11. Good advice.. not just for mums but those of us that juggle full-time work, part-time creating and a partner who is incapable of cooking too!

  12. Your post is a great reminder that we all can find times to write if we want to. There are so many moments where we waste time playing games on our phone, watching TV, etc. that we could use to hone our craft or work on our blogs. I am just as guilty as the next person of doing this. So thank you for the reminder of how to carve out time. I've definitely been slacking but I've been trying to get back into what means the most to me.


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