Why I guard my writing time jealously

If you are the sort of person who enjoys writing—you just enjoy writing. It’s a form of therapy that isn’t optional. You need writing to feel well, both mentally and physically.

Finding the time to write is not always easy when our lives are busy. It doesn’t matter how much or how little time you manage to dedicate to writing, the important thing is that you have time, and regular time, at that. There are stages in our life where we have more or less time for creative pursuits, and we have to accept this.

We have to receive every moment spent writing with gratitude.

I have been a long-term sufferer of fibromyalgia, which is a debilitating, and often misunderstood, chronic disease. I am glad to say that I mostly manage the symptoms using both diet and exercise now, a hard won balance that took me many painful years to master. There were many days when I was in too much pain to think properly, let alone be capable of writing. When I could not write, I fell back onto greater reading—not such a bad compromise, perhaps.

I lost many things during the worst years of my illness, and made many compromises on the life I wanted to live.

I can look back now and see clearly that it changed me in a profound way. I spent a lot of time grieving for what I couldn’t have, couldn’t be, and couldn’t do.

If it taught me anything, it would be a sense of perspective, and of perseverance. It taught me too, that while in many ways I had changed, the part of me that loved the rich, inner, imaginative world of books, remained exactly the same. And this was very comforting.

I never stopped reading.

And I never completely stopped writing.

We all have things that take us away from our writing, some wonderful and some sad.

The important thing is to keep a little of your writing love going, even if you only have a tiny slot, even if you have to stop up until the rest of the house has gone to bed, or rise early, to get your writing fix. Guard your writing time jealously, because if you are a writer, then a writer is who you are, and when life get tough, it may just be the thing that keeps you going. A love of writing is not altered by our age or our situation, or even by the obstacles life throws our way. It is fundamental, and enduring, and it is pervasive to our very core.

13 thoughts on “Why I guard my writing time jealously

  1. I would be interested in knowing what some of the “classics” are you think people should read, not asking for any long reviews, but more of list. I’ve decided to read more and be more active on goodreads.com this year and focus on what has stood the test of time rather than the newest thing out there. Not that what’s new isn’t good, but I think I can learn more from what has climbed to the top of the mountain and stayed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting question. I think what classics you read depends very much on your personal taste. I do prefer some of the old ones, that said, some are down right boring….Madam Bovary for example I simply could not finish. 🙂 The wind in the willows I consumed in a day and loved even as an adult. Pretty much any classic children’s book is right up my street. Then there was the complete works of Jane Austin, and I think I managed 5/6 before I admitted defeat as the stories started to blur. I love all the classic 50s/ 60s/ 70s scifi such as iRobot and the Rama series.
      The great thing about the old classics is that you can download them free on kindle or kindle app, so I just grab a few and see what works.
      Just to mix it up, if I was to recommend a relatively modern quality book, I would pick either ‘the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime’, or for scifi fans ‘the use of weapons’ by Iain Banks.
      A bit of a random selection, but hope that helps 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I needed to read this today! I have just had a whole day and a half to devote to my novel, for the first time since early January and it was as precious as gold to me. I really value the hours when I have peace and quiet and no interruptions to my thought process, and it’s so wonderful when it all happens beautifully without a hitch. Believe me, I am so appreciative of the gift of writing time.

    Liked by 1 person

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