Finding the Time

One of my friends today mentioned that one of her plans for tonight was sitting down with a glass of wine and poem revisions.

I all but howled in longing. (I think I actually gave a quiet moan and put my head down on the desk.) The cantankerous, perpetually dissatisfied old lady voice in me went, “I wish I had time to do that. Grumble grumble. Wish that could be my night. Wow, that sounds so nice. Wish I had spare time. Kvetch kvetch.” In reality, I technically do have time to do that.  I’m just not making it the priority it should be. Even thinking about my day: if I cut out the ten minutes I spend checking my email and Facebook (every hour) and  the twenty minute nap I take religiously, I would have thirty minutes (at least) to write or revise a day. It’s just not a priority and it should be.

One of the struggles of writing/revision is always finding the time. Everyone I know has an incredibly busy schedule, between a full course load and various extracurricular commitments. Sometimes all we want to do at the end of the day is drop into bed and stare mindlessly at our Netflix options for the night. Writing is hard. Revision is hard. It involves brain power and thinking and creativity. There are definitely days that we need to give ourselves a break, but I find myself pushing writing and revision back farther and farther in my to-do list as the semester picks up. Almost every seasoned writer offers the same advice: Try and write every day.

I was very good last semester–I tried to journal once a day, even if it was to put down three good things that happened in my day, and was constantly carrying around a poem to revise/made the effort to be in some kind of creative process. I would get up early or stay up late and write. This year for some reason, it’s been much harder.

How do other people incorporate writing and revision into their daily lives/schedules? When do you write best? Do you feel that you make writing a priority in your busy college life full of other commitments? How do we best go about this juggling act?

3 Replies to “Finding the Time”

  1. It’s a shame to say that I don’t always follow the advice I’m about to give, but last semester I got a small separate journal to carry around in public. This way, when a spark of inspiration hits, I can jot down that line or image or whatever as opposed to just hoping I will remember it. When journaling, I find it really important to always incorporate dates. That definitely orients me when I’m looking back on it in utter confusion (lol).

    Come to think of it, I tend to write down ephemeral thoughts into the Notes section of my iPhone… those are always fun to look back on. I am not the best at prioritizing revisions, but I can always count on myself for having partial poems and random images scattered somewhere.

  2. I think all writers have this trouble. Not pushing myself to make time for writing is something I used to beat myself up about a lot. I still feel that way a lot. It’s difficult in college especially when everyone is trying to juggle a million things, and it’s true that sometimes the last thing I want to do is sit down and write a poem–let alone revise one. I think Amy makes a good point when she says finding the time is hard because writing is hard and it takes up a lot of energy.

    Within the past year I’ve overcome a lot of personal obstacles and when I was standing there facing each one (I’m looking at you GREAT Day poetry reading) I tried to force myself to remember that inevitable cliche that everything that is worth while doesn’t come easy. That also goes for revision. While I can say most days I’d rather descend into the endless pit of Netflix and YouTube, on the occasions I can fight against that tired part of me to sit down and work on writing–more times than not, I feel proud of my work, and glad that I pushed myself.

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