Making time for writing

Making time for writing

Why is it so hard to make time for what you love?

If you'd asked me 20 years ago, I never would have thought it would be difficult to make time in my life for writing.  As a freelance writer, I am living the life I always wanted as a teen, and yet my real love -- writing fiction -- often falls by the wayside, trumped by more lucrative freelance work.  I've even made some major changes in my life -- gotten a part-time job as an after-school nanny so that I could depend less on my freelance income, thereby leaving myself more freedom to work on my own projects -- and still it's a struggle to find time to write.

I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve that help me make time for it, though.  My trump card is NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, an online challenge that has actually become international as its popularity has grown.  The basic goal is to write 50K in one month.  There are other guidelines -- it's supposed to be a brand-new novel, for example -- but I ignore some of those.  To me, the goal is to write my 1,667 words every single day.

The original event took place in November (and still does), but it's become so popular that they also now have summer sessions, known as Camp NaNoWriMo.  Since I used NaNo for motivation, but am often disappointed to find that my motivation dissipates once NaNo ends, this year I used the summer sessions to give me a little extra boost in the writing department.

And just like how it happens in December, after the November session is over, now that Camp NaNo has ended I'm finding that I've returned to my former habits of not writing every day.  In fact, I haven't worked on my novel since September 4th.  That's how long the "routine" I'd established during NaNo lasted: four extra days.  And then *poof*.

What about you?  Do you struggle with making time to write?  What tricks do you use to try to overcome it?