Finding time

I’m a big fan of Urban Writers Retreats. I’ve never been on one, but I’m sure I’d like it.

I’ve never been on one despite having a busy life, & being a perfect candidate, because in the last twenty one months I’ve had precisely two whole weekend days to myself, and I felt beholden to a) spa and b) drink champagne at the Wolesley instead. Taking an entire day of the weekend for myself feels horrifically selfish when your husband (also known as ‘childcare’) works a 45 hour week.

But now I’m trying to get myself writing again, I see Charlie is running an online bootcamp about increasing your writing time. She’s made a nice video about using a week’s timetable to find times when you might be writing instead. I mentally tried her approach this afternoon, while herding a toddler around the park. Most days are the same after all:

  • Wake up too bloody early whatever time it is but let’s say it’s 7. Block off the next 12 hours under Toddler.
  • Consider the possibility of using naptime – potentially 60-90 minutes. Discounted when I realise that 15 mins is spent anxiously wondering if he’ll go to sleep at all, another 10 making a coffee as quietly as possible, 30-45 spent doing email, making calls, paying bills, packing the afternoon bag, hanging laundry, fretting about dinner.
  • Consider the hours between 7-9pm. Am normally far too tired after that to spell own name correctly. Seems like a likely candidate. Decide to test this evening. Results below:
    • Child in bed at 7, begin to make dinner, which will also serve as child’s lunch tomorrow. Collect yet more laundry from around house. Greet husband, discuss day, building work, tiles, child. Eat. Look at clock: 8.30pm

So 8.30-9 it is. It’s time enough. If I remember to turn the telly off.

(Find out more about the bootcamp here, and also how to win a place!)

One thought on “Finding time

  1. It IS bloody knackering. Mine are at school but on pick up days I have to set off at 3 and what with dog and house and bits and pieces the time evaporates. Youngest barely sleeps so is awake til Monday. I used to air punch when putting them in the cot, now they stroll around so we go to bed later and later to get time on our own, and then are correspondingly knackered the next day and then it begins again. Yes, there are scraps of time, but never a big lump of it all to be used by me without guilt, without laundry or shopping or cleaning or staring, panickingly into space, fretting about crap I am!!
    Were you pleased with your Andrew Motion course? Or too much poetry??

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