Monday, June 4, 2012

Teachers Write: Making Time to Write: My Plan

Along with hundreds of teachers and librarians, I have joined Kate Messner's summer writing camp, Teachers Write.  

Lesson #1 "Making Time" "Make a writing plan for your summer and for your school year"

Kate's Quesions:
  1. What you found that you might be able to cut out of your schedule or cut back on to make time to write.
  2. When you’ll be writing each day & for how long. Remember to be realistic. 15 minutes is fine to start.
  3. Where you’ll usually write.  This can be different places on different days, depending on your schedule.
  4. Who you told about your plans. Remember, sharing your writing plans with the people in your life helps to make them real and reminds your family & friends to give you that space for writing.

My Response:

  • Even making time to make time invited an intrusion: Microsoft Word prompted me to install an update just as I was fixing to jot my thoughts about making time to write.The ever intrusive Microsoft Word is a fitting metaphor for the problem of finding time to write. Something nudges the writing time to another time.
  • In truth, I have plenty of time to write—usually. My children are grown, so the nest is empty. Typically, I find time to write on my blog, but I need to make time to write for journals and to write fiction. This summer my granddaughter will be spending some time with me. She’s seven, and after one week, I’m exhausted and have only read half a book (I am keeping up w/ my magazines). How will I steal writing time when a rousing game of Words with Friends beckons? 
  • Summer plan: Write in the morning between the time my husband leaves for work and the time Kayla gets up. The house silently awaits our awakening, except for the occasional barking dog, generally my own Snug. At this hour, it’s impossible to recognize the child-filled neighborhood in the hushed, dewy a.m.
  • During the School Year: That’s difficult to say. If I go to the gym in the morning, I’ll write in the evening. I think between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. will work best. If I go to the gym in the evening, I’ll write of a morning before school. I generally awaken around 5:00 a.m., so I’ll just need to make my cells rise from the bed. Whatever I do, I’ll need to hide from my husband who values but doesn’t get the writing solitude thing.
  • Where I’ll Write: I have a home office, but my husband has camped out on the desk, so I’m going to reorganize my sewing room, which typically functions more as an ironing room, and use the desk in there. It’s a sunny, bright room w/ a shabby chic vibe that should create a pleasant writing atmosphere. Right now I’m on the couch w/ my laptop., which is typically the perch from where I blog. I think I need a set place that will press the right buttons for the writing I fear: fiction. 
  • Whom I told: I told my husband and a couple of colleagues. I told my neighbor, whose daughter was a student the past two years. I told some folks I know through the Early College Program, some facebook folks, and, of course, twitter tweeters. However, I’m not so convinced that telling is a good idea. I recently read a study that says keeping one’s goals to oneself offers more of a guarantee that one will reach them than does sharing them w/ lots of other folks.Yet here I am, announcing those who stumble upon this post by design or accident, that this summer I will write. 


  1. Several months ago I was in a faculty meeting and we were discussing research, writing, and the ever paramount goal of being published in prestigious scholarly journals. The chair said, "If writing is a priority, we need to make it a priority each day. Block out time in your schedule each day to write," he said. "Just get in the habit of writing, and write often."

    Thought he was talking about cutting-edge rehab research, this chair's advice to write-write-write struck me. I've slowly been trying to make it more of a priority in my life. Love this writing challenge you're participating it...inspirational!

  2. Yea, Glenda! Like you, I should have plenty of time, but, oh those games. I know I waste a lot of time in the summer, but this is the summer for being more purposeful with my writing. Happy writing!

  3. I was working on Jo Knowles' prompt when yet another intrusion: a text from a media specialist. Love the irony! Eliminating the intrusions is a challenge.

  4. I've just gone back to school after thirty years. Talk about time management. It literally takes me hours to read through half a chapter. So between school, work, and other writing commitments I must endeavor to get organize. This is the kick in the pants I need to get it together. So glad you've got your mojo on, Glenda. Now for mine...

  5. Your writing space sounds very cozy, Glenda! I am nodding my head at your plans for the school year. I find it easier to make time for writing in the summer - my schedule being fairly wide open. It's during the school year, when life gets stuffed to the max, that I have more trouble.

    So glad that we'll be writing together with Teachers Write this summer!