Time waits for no Muse

Just a short post today because I’m supposed to be writing something else. I’ve been dwelling a lot on the concept of time lately. Mostly because I never seem to have enough of it. Today, especially, because having a birthday tends to amplify the tick-tick-tick of the clock running down.

As a work-at-home-mum, I fit a fair amount into each day. Fulltime mum, part-time job, some-of-the-time domestic goddess, all-of-the-time partner. What I learned early in the piece was the importance of prioritising what was important and letting go of everything else. Only I’ve never been real good at letting go of anything except the housework. That, I sent out to sea on a raft a long time ago. Everything else, I try to fit in.

When I started blogging, I didn’t stop to consider where I was going to put it in the schedule. I just figured I’d do like I always did and fit it in. I joke about procrastination, but the truth is that I’ve always been very serious about deadlines. If you want to make a living as a freelancer, you have to be. So when the baby/toddler/preschooler went to sleep, I sat down to write.

There was no waiting for the Muse. The Muse, I find, is often held up in traffic so it’s excellent policy to begin without her. If she’s good, she’ll just pick it up as she goes along.

That’s how the paid work got done. Also how I fitted in the writing of the fiction. The proposals and pitches for new work. The volunteer bits for the school. You know.

Then I started blogging. And it’s a lot of fun. So when I sit down, my head doesn’t immediately go to ‘GO’. It goes to blog. Which means everything else is, well, waiting for the Muse.

Which is why I’m writing this, instead of the other thing I’m supposed to write.

I’m not complaining. Just putting together some notes for when I begin to lobby seriously for the 25th hour in the day.

Anyone with me?

[edit]

I wrote this post in 2010. Since then, I’ve written six novels for children, along with thousands of works for features articles, blogs posts and more, as well as managing a day job that takes in speaking, social media work and even a podcast. 

In 2017, I distilled everything I knew about making time to write – including a few more tips on handling that capricious Muse – into a course for the Australian Writers’ Centre called Make Time To Write. You can read all about the course and how it might help you here.

Or you could try my 30-Day Creative Writing Bootcamp – it guarantees that you’ll write 10,000+ words in 30 days if you follow the daily instructions. 

In the meantime, here are some other posts to try:

How to get the words written: top 10 tips for writers

Six reasons to start writing your novel now

An inconvenient truth about mothers and writing