People sometimes ask how I manage to keep working when life gets in the way and they laugh when I tell them, truly: lower the bar.
If you’re caring for a sick loved one, or you’re a new parent, or work is super busy right now, you might not have much time for your writing, but it doesn’t mean you should (ever) give up on it. Just lower the bar.
My daughter finished her school year last Friday and my son’s last day is tomorrow, and the camps I have them signed up for don’t start for a couple weeks, and if left to their own devices they’ll be lounging around all day, making lots of noise and spending way too much time on their screens. So I basically cleared my calendar. We’re going camping, we’ll take day trips to the beach, we will probably see a movie (or two). It’s not that I’m against them lazing around – we’ll make space for that too, but one of the reasons I built my life to be so flexible was precisely so that I CAN clear my calendar to do things with them.
The one non-negotiable is my fiction. My bar never drops so low that I’m not writing at all. That would be removing the bar. I don’t do that. I just lower it. For me, the lowest the bar goes is that I write for 45 minutes every weekday (with a day or two off for camping because I’m not bringing my laptop to the woods, that would be lame). Every weekday, at 9:30, I log on to A Very Important Meeting and write with the good folks there and I know that whatever else happens, I made a little progress on my story.
Once the kids start their camps I’ll make more progress on the novel, catch up on some blog posts (I have some good ones lined up – stay tuned) and start promoting my 6-Week Mindful Writers Challenge (I’ll be running three more sessions in the fall). Until then, I’m just enjoying my time with the kiddos.