Family / Life / Marriage / Writing

In My Spare Time…


If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been posting much here on MotifBrophy or Merveilleux Sans Gluten lately or assumed I’ve lost my passion for writing, I haven’t! I’ve actually done some of that re-prioritizing that I like so much to talk about.

On our 5-hour+ road trip to Tulsa at Christmastime (I added that little + because you know traveling with a 15-month-old could never be as simple as just driving to a destination!), Nathan and I reflected on 2011 and looked forward to 2012 with a little bit of awe and a lot of thankfulness. Two thousand eleven was a major year for us, marked more by our move from Alaska to Texas and all that it entailed than anything else. It was the start of a new adventure and new life that we had dreamt about for quite some time, and we wanted to continue that momentum into the new year.

So on that trip we worked on what we entitled “Our 2012 Vision Plan & Goals”. We ended up with a list of 13 major things to intentionally work towards this year. Most of the goals were joint (we are one, you know), but a few of them were more personal to one of us in some way. I just looked at that vision plan this morning and I’m happy to say, here at the almost 1/2 year mark, we are well on our way of carrying out our plan and seeing it unfold in our lives.

The very last thing on the list, #13, states: Shannon write a book. Writing books has been a dream of mine for a long, long time, but the main road block has been finding the time. Or making the time. My life feels like a constant juggling act. Every single day is busy and full of things to do. At the beginning of the year, I started brainstorming ideas for my first book. I had some general thoughts and themes I was leaning towards, but I needed to narrow it down and come up with something solid to build upon.

Well, it wasn’t until about a month ago that I got really serious about writing my book; it’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it! I’m still in the planning-and-outlining-in-great-detail stage, but this is really happening!

What’s changed in my hours in the day? I’ve started using my time wisely. I’m not wasting time. We’re not TV watchers, for one. I can hear the gasps and the questions “What do you guys do, then?” Well, if we actually have time to sit down and relax, we play games or work on projects. Lately our home has been full of writing inspiration; Nathan’s writing music and I’m writing a book.

My husband is the king of efficiency. He works, works, works until everything’s done…then he’ll take a moment to relax. I get things done, too, but I naturally work in cycles; recently I’ve tried working around the house like he does and it’s amazing how much faster I can finish things. Who woulda thunk it? :)

So at the end of the day, when baby’s in bed, laundry is hung and lunches are made for the next day, I write. It may be just 15 minutes, it may be 39, but regardless, I work on this book. If I have 5 minutes in my car before work, I write notes on my iPhone about my book. On my days off after I put Judah down for a nap in the afternoon, I sit down, open up Scrivener (a fantastic program for writers!) on my laptop and write for a half hour and then work on dinner or cleaning. Minutes add up over the course of a month and before long, you realize just how many hours all those minutes add up to. I’ve got page after page to prove it!

No matter how hectic life gets, don’t forget to work on the important stuff. Anyone can set 10 minutes aside per day and get a little closer to their goals minute by little bitty minute, if that’s what it takes.

I feel like I don’t have any spare time, and I really don’t, but I’m making the most of my time right now and who knows? Maybe you’ll be picking up my first book in a year or two and thanking me for becoming more efficient… ;)

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