Listen, I am over here trying to make time to write. Thirty minutes one day, 22 minutes the next, eight minutes before work. F*cking eight. I can barely write a Tweet in that time! Even 30 minutes is pushing it if I want to write something that doesn’t resemble a piece of crap.
Part of the problem is that I work in an office. Like a real job. Even though it’s “only” part-time, I still have to get up at a specific time (newborn baby early) and I still have to go to sleep at a certain hour (grandparents’ bedtime) four days a week.
And I work out…because I don’t want to feel or look like those amoebas in a Gary Larson comic.
Or, on second thought actually, any character in a Gary Larson comic:
And I’m also a mom. And a wife. And I’m the person who does the dishes and the laundry 95% of the time. And I’m also the person who takes the 5 year old to practice and lessons and doctor appointments. I volunteer in his class. Really, all the same things most moms do. So, you know, it’s a lot of…stuff that’s the opposite of what I’d rather be doing.
Mostly, what I’m at odds with is the writing and the exercising. First, they are mutually exclusive. One requires I move my arms and legs around. The other is me just sitting on my ass. Second, I really only have time for one of them, and one of them (I think you know which one) is more appealing than the other.
It’s classic Three’s Company. Let’s pretend I’m Jack. Exercising is Chrissy. And writing is Janet, who just got left behind on a hideous orange and brown sofa.
A Twitter friend suggested I read Haruki Murakami’s book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I like it, but I’m not very encouraged so far since–spoiler alert–he quits his business so he can devote his days to writing full time. And also this is 30 years ago.
And also that’s not an option for me.
But I’ll keep reading. Not that I have time to.
The struggle is REAL.
The guilt is REAL.
I often feel like I should be doing B when I’m doing A, only to beat myself up about not doing enough A when I make time for B. Ughhhh.
Can you combine writing & exercising on occasion to maximize productivity? How about walking briskly on an incline with a notepad within reach to brainstorm while you exercise? It may feel silly, but I do this a lot and it works. Even if you only write down one-word cues or short phrases, it will prompt you for ideas later when you actually sit down to write with intention. Once you’ve gotten 20 minutes of brainstorming out of the way (we all know 80% of writing time is treading through the brainstorming/creative process) you wont feel guilty when you buckle down for a real workout.
You could do 20 min at 3.5mph and 5 incline with a notepad to capture whatever comes out of your mind, then set the notepad aside and spend the next 20 min focused on a HIIT workout. After a shower, you can dedicate 20 minutes to whatever you ended up with on your notepad.
This way, in 90 min time you’ve done 40 min of writing work AND gotten in 40 min of exercise, without feeling like you’ve had to pick your favorite child.
This is so wonderfully helpful. Thank you!
I stop reading books also due to time issues. Then I started to listen to audiobooks while commuting to work and working out. This way I can get at least a little reading in. Audible is great!