Sneaking it in

We all sneak stuff, right?

Another cookie, another glass of wine, or chocolate, or anything delectable that we’re supposed to minimize.

But I’m not talking about getting those delicious treats in when no one’s looking. Right now, I’m talking about sneaking in writing time. Time that you haven’t alloted to writing. Because, no matter how much time any of us have to write it’s just never enough.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to sneak in bits of writing, and well, I’m sad to report that it’s just not working out. I’m not a morning person. At all. I can’t get up earlier than the already too early 6:30 am wake-up call. I just can’t. After the family is asleep I’mย too brain-fried to do anything productive other than read like a lump. When the kids are home, it’s just too busy, I hardly have time to even figure out what needs to be done, let alone do anything more.

Can anyone share how they sneakย extra writing time? I’m really hoping that this golden time is there, but that I just haven’t stumbled on it. Anyone? Anyone? Anyone? (I’m imitating the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I’ll let you add the inflect.) But, please don’t sneak out by pretending there’s been some major family drama to go drive around in your friend’s dad’s super expensive car. Please stay and share your secrets about sneaking it in.

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14 thoughts on “Sneaking it in

  1. I used to sneak writing time in while I cooked dinner, but that was only really good for first drafting. And then my kids went through another round of ‘never leave mum alone’ and that went out the window. Also, I am trying to be more present in what I am doing, which includes cooking. I do actually enjoy it more when I’m not splitting my attention. It’s super hard to sneak things in. Super hard. I think the only way is to actually get some space outside of the house on a regular basis and I have still not mastered that! And I guess that’s not really ‘sneaking’ either…. SORRY!!!

    1. Do you think it will get easier as they grow, Cassie? I’m finding I’m getting busier. Not the sitting on the couch nursing all day busy, but the running from activity, and play dates, and homework, and pratices, and on and on and on. I see how much my mom runs for us (her kids) and we’re all grown!!! Maybe this is it??? What a scary thought! hehe
      Good luck getting in your time–I hope you find it!

      1. I hope you find it too ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess my situation is a lil different. I’m noticing with home schooling that I actually have more time (and less stress). I can be the kind of mother I want to be now, which is awesome, and its cut about 2hrs of preparation, driving and waiting out of our day! As they get older, I imagine they will be more self directed, which should equate to more time for me… I hope ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. Hi JC, I’m so glad to hear that this new situation is working out for you. I think less stress equals more time. And more brain power ๐Ÿ™‚
        Here’s to you!

  2. When my children were young, I had a picture on my wall from a newspaper story about a writer. She was sitting on her washing machine, writing out of reach while her children played. I never did that, but it inspired me. Of course, she wasn’t at the carpool/after school activity phase.

    I’ve been debating with myself whether I should comment because the only secret I have is in direct contradiction to what you said!! …early morning, before my children got up. Like you, my brain was/is fried at night. What I’ve always liked about writing early in the morning is it’s guaranteed to be interruption-free (except for the internet, of course!). And all day, you have a great feeling knowing you already spent time writing. It’s so hard to get up, but once I have that hot cup of coffee in hand, I start to perk up. (With a timer to make it go off, if you love coffee like I do, and can smell, it, that helps get the brain going. At one point, I actually had the coffee pot in my bedroom so it would wake me!)

    I’ve also heard of writers who went to sleep, got up at 2am and wrote, and went back to sleep. I tried it (once or twice) but couldn’t make it work.

    I also am not the greatest housekeeper. At the end of the day, writing time has to come from something else. (I’m lucky to have a husband who thinks a house should look “lived in”.)

    It does get easier when your children get more self-sufficient with homework, packing their own lunches, etc. etc. And once they start driving, you can write while they’re out and about because then it’s impossible to sleep!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I love that image, Cathryn! I’m going to try to find it online!

      Self-sufficient you say? Hmmm, okay, not sure I buy it…..lol

      I’m jealous of early risers. I really am. I’ve been managing to sneak in some extra time at the end of the day, after I get the three of them in bed I try for a 30 minutes of editing–it’s not much but it adds up, and it keeps the internal rhythm going. I’ve also been trying to get in any minutes at all wherever. If all the kids are busy and I have even just 10 minutes before I need to do something I’ll use them on my wip.
      One of these days I hope to join the ranks of the in the morning writers. I think I’d work better at midnight, but that’s my pre-kid brain at work. I need to switch gears somehow.

      1. Definitely self-sufficient, trust me ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Also, I only had 2 children, and I believe your youngest is 18-24 mos IIRC? So the fact that you manage to write nearly every day is amazing!

        I don’t think you can change your body clock that dramatically, I just meant an hour earlier and since you said you were in brain fog at night, it might work ๐Ÿ˜‰ From what I noticed with my kids, they had their morning/night person orientation settled when they were a month old.

        It’s incredible what can be done in ten minutes. I need to remember that.

      2. Ok, I’ll hold out for the self-sufficient days ๐Ÿ™‚

        Cathryn, when I say that I’m envious of early riser writers I really mean it! I find my night owl clock totally inconvenient. Most days I’m only 1/3 functioning before 11am! At night I come awake at about 10 (post brain-fry!) , but if I work at that time I’ll be toast the next day. My youngest is almost 2.5 now — you were close — and he’s still waking a few times per night, so I can’t work when my brain function best cause then I’d be a total zombie!!!

        I know, I know, they’re only young once, and IT IS fleeting!

        10 minutes–sometimes I think get more done during that time than in a 2 hour work session! I need to always pretend I only have 10 minutes! lol

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