Time: How Do You Balance Writing and Real Life?

Time. There never seems to be enough of it. Yet, everything competes for it. Life. Work. Writing. Your stomach. Your bladder. Your family and friends. Your sanity. With all of these things and much more, it’s almost a miracle how far and thin we can stretch twenty-four hours. 

I seem to never have time. And when I have time, I don’t want to do anything with it. I’m a full-time student in my last semester of my bachelor program. There’s half of my life gone right there. I’m also a full-time Registered Nurse. There goes the other half of my life. Bye-bye time. And that’s just my day job. Lecture. Assignments. Exams. Studying (or procrastinating studying). Patients. Collabrating with doctors. Being kicked by little children. Having the bubonic plague coughed into my mouth twenty times a day. It’s all in a day’s work. So by the time I come home, I’m nearly comatose. And when the weekend — ahhh the glorious weekend I’m not working — comes around, I want to be a vegetable on my couch who binges on Netflix. 

Then, I hear her. Sophia Madison. She starts out softly, you should write. I ignore her for a few hours. You should write, she begins again more forcefully. I flop over to the other side of the couch, as if I can outrun her. YOU NEED TO WRITE. 

Okay. Okay. Goddamnit. 

As writers, we are compelled to write. It’s an addiction. If you don’t fulfill that innate desire, scratch that itch, you can go a little crazy. Like a soda bottle about to burst, you need that release. But, what happens when you simply don’t have the time? 

That’s when your priorities fall in line. It’s crazy to think how many things can take a backseat to writing. Food, who needs food? Sleep, sleep is for the weak! Clothes, brushing my hair, showering — I’m not going anywhere. Homework? Homework was meant to be done the morning of, and studying? That’s where multitasking comes in. Shove food in my face while reading out my material for me as I put on my shoes and walk out the door. 

Writing has upheaved the peace. Scrambled my life. Put my procrastination to the test and taken priority over everything else. I’ve tried to follow a set schedule: work. eat. write…school. study. write. But life doesn’t come with a set schedule, and neither does writing. 

So, I manage my time chaotically because planning to fit writing into my schedule has never proven worthy. Like the wind, it comes on a whim, dishevels everything in its path, and demands to take priority over everything else. Sometimes you put it in line. And sometimes, you forget to do the basic human neccesseties because they don’t seem quite as important as getting what’s in your head out. 

How do you balance your time?


One thought on “Time: How Do You Balance Writing and Real Life?

  1. For me, it’s less balancing than a blend. I’m the mom of two kids, 14 and 11.5. Because we unschool, life can be spontaneous. So I have a variety of projects that let me adapt. I get more time now than I had when my kids were little, and writing is my default. I usually do writing sprints interspersed with hometending sprints, which keeps the house somewhat tidy, most of the time.

    I hope you find a balance or blend that works for you. =)

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