Finding the Time

When people find out I’m an author and I write novels, they usually want to know how in the world I have the time.

I mean, I have a kid at home. I have a husband. We’re adopting (which is a time-consuming endeavor). I’m involved at church. 

When do I have the time to sit down and write words?

Beth Vogt wrote a post a few weeks ago that featured a quote from Lucille Ball“I think knowing what you cannot do is more important than knowing what you can.” And the post completely resonated. 

Because THIS is why I have time.

There are so many things non-writing mama’s probably do that I just…..don’t.

I don’t iron.

I don’t garden.

I don’t dust unless absolutely necessary.

I don’t scrapbook.

I don’t volunteer at my son’s preschool.

I don’t do MOPS or other mommy-groups. 

I don’t buy new blinds for my son’s room even though his have been broken for two months.

I don’t garage sale or refinish furniture or cook gourmet meals or go all-natural. We’re all about preservatives in this household.

I don’t keep a meticulous home or do cross fit (all the rage, I hear) or paint my nails or watch TV. 

I do laugh and play with my child. I do love on my husband. I do make family dinners (even if it’s only grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and oven-cooked french fries). I do spend time with God. I do socialize on occasion. I do keep my house livable. 

Realizing all the things I cannot do and accepting these limitations is why I can write novels. 

Let’s Talk: What are some things you choose not to do? What do you do in place of them?

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22 thoughts on “Finding the Time

  1. I really like this post! It came at the right time. I’m the kind of person that aways wants to be able to do everything. And just this week my lovely big sister who is the most organized person I know, reminded me about prioritizing. Thanks for sharing Katie!

    Tell the World

  2. Katie, I love this question!
    I don’t scrapbook either! I don’t have a vegetable garden. I don’t do “parties” (Tupperware, etc.) I don’t keep a spotless house. I don’t go to town every day. I don’t wash the car. I don’t belong to the women’s group in my church, although I do belong to a Bible study group. I don’t watch TV during the day. I don’t answer the phone in the morning when I’m writing.

  3. I don’t keep as clean a house as I used to. My rubber stamp and scrapbook supplies are gathering dust. I don’t volunteer nearly as much as I did in the days before I started writing. When I added writing to my days, other things had to go. I’m so not Super Woman.

  4. I’m not a crafty person or a designer, but I try most everything else on your list. Maybe that’s why I have so little time. 🙂

  5. I actually made a list like this for myself the other day. I was giving myself permission not to do the things I don’t do. I’m slowly getting better at the word “no.” 🙂

  6. Umm, okay, so I’m going to be the oddball here…I love to craft and designate one Saturday a month making cards. I knit/crochet often, many times while brainstorming. I watch specific shows online–need my NCIS fix.

    By day I’m an in-home childcare provider, so my house MUST be clean. I spend more time in the kitchen than I’d like, and by the time dinner rolls around, I have no enthusiasm to cook for my family.

    Writing happens in the evenings for me.

    One area that seems to be a fail for me is blogging and social media. I’m striving to get better, but so many times I stare at my blank dashboard wondering what in the heck I could say that would be a value to the other person reading it. More often than not, I close the window and realize I’m not going to be a blogger extraordinaire.

  7. I don’t feel guilty about hiring someone to clean my house when I’m on a crazy deadline.
    I don’t care if my children wear clothes that match.
    I don’t cut coupons.
    I don’t go on Pinterest. Ever. I feel if I even went once it would be like a black hole that sucks me in. I live in fear of it.
    I don’t comment on blogs. Oh, wait…

  8. Pretty sure we’re like the same person. Because I don’t do any of those things either!

    So many of my friends make pretty things. Pretty quilts. Pretty baby shower invites. Pretty fall decorations and pinterest crafts for their homes.

    Yeah…I don’t do any of that.

    I do cook, but nothing fancy. And we have a lot of leftovers.

    I don’t clean my floors like I should…especially with two golden retrievers.

    I don’t dust unless people are coming over.

    I only paint my nails when I’m going to a conference. Hehe.

    I don’t read magazines. I have a whole two years worth of Better Homes and Gardens that I meant to read…and never did.

    I can’t tell you how freeing it is to know that so many of my author buddies are the same way!! 🙂 As women we spend so much time comparing ourselves and thinking about how so-and-so can do something else so much better. But God has each of us in a unique place in life. We CANNOT compare ourselves because our life circumstances are not comparable.

  9. I don’t watch TV. It’s amazing how much more time I have than other people because of that! Television is such a time-suck, but I don’t think many people realize it.

  10. We are sisters of the soul! 🙂

    There are a lot of things, like Cindy pointed out, that I USED to do. Like cross-stitch. I used to spend hours working on cross-stitch projects, the bigger and more involved the better. Now I write.

  11. I love this post! I’ve really had to think hard the last several years about what’s really important to me. I USED to scrapbook. I USED to bake a lot. I USED to garden. But I don’t do those things anymore because I want to have time for what’s really important and not feel overwhelmed every single day. It’s hard having to cut things out of our lives here and there, but it’s also nice knowing we can choose what we do and don’t spend time on.

  12. Hi Katie,
    This post really struck me…because I haven’t cut out any of those things from my life. I really want to do them ALL! 🙂 Which is also probably why my writing hasn’t moved much. Oh, the struggle of my life!

    Very thought provoking for me today…thanks!

  13. I don’t do crafts, not because of time, but cuz I don’t like them. LOL But yes, there are things I don’t do in favor of other things. Now that all three of mine are in school though I am volunteering a day a week. I really love it so far and I still have time for writing, etc.
    I love that quote and completely agree!

  14. “We’re all about preservatives in this household”

    See? I knew you and I were kindred spirits! HA!

    Literally, i could give my own list but it’d be almost verbatum yours. Although I do splurge and have the TV on during the day at times, mostly because I’m used to working during the day and my house, even with a babbling Annabelle, is WAY too quiet without it. Much of the time it is Miss Pattycake or Veggitales or something to that effect though!

  15. I iron. I iron paper that has curled from using wet media. (-:

  16. And yet ANOTHER reason why I love you!!

    Even though I refinish antiques, cook designer cheesecakes and I do believe I ironed a skirt for church yesterday…I do NOT keep a clean house. You could grow corn in my tub. I mop the WALLS in their bathroom. Because I have to. I have 3 boys, okay, 4, at home. My house is not mine. It belongs to the 4 hockey bags and their putrid stench. There are scrapes along almost every wall from chairs and hockey gear and where the soccer ball hit the lamp and …yeah.
    I try to stay ahead of things so that I don’t have to play psycho-catch-up. I do not and have NEVER volunteered at my kid’s schools. Why would I do that? Half the kids are total brats and don’t know the words “thank” and “you”, let alone “please”.

    Scrapbooking is a cult.
    I escaped a few years ago.I de-programmed my sniffing Varsol, which is the brain cell killing chemical I use to strip antiques.
    I can use that in a sentence, “I strip with Varsol”. Heh.
    But since I took up writing? Not an antique in sight and we love Costco chicken.

  17. Oh, your post made me feel so good! I don’t craft, either. Or scrapbook. Or iron. And I’ve given up all effort at housekeeping perfection. I don’t live like a slob (it’s easier to keep things fairly clean since I live alone), but still, I’m not near as meticulous as I used to be! 🙂

  18. Yes. Yes!! To almost all of that. 🙂

  19. I don’t respond to emails or text messages unless they ask a direct question. I don’t hand wash my clothes (almost anything can survive the gentle cycle). I don’t read the entire bed time story to my toddler, as long as he can’t read he won’t know he got the abridged version. I don’t pound the pavement with my stroller trying to lose the weight (I stay home and pound the keyboard while the baby sleeps). I don’t cook. I don’t eat meals at the table. I don’t talk on the phone unless I absolutely have to.

    I’d go on, but leaving long comments on blog posts is something else I don’t (or shouldn’t) do 🙂

  20. It’s a long list!

    I don’t knit, scrapbook, crochet, sew or do anything crafty. I cook but only stuff that is fast and can be done in parallel with the Ninja’s night time routine. I do groceries online. I clean… when you can’t no longer see the floor and we have guests coming over. Don’t really watch TV (excluding Downton Abbey and Homeland) and for my son’s birthday party we hired a venue and everything except the cake came in packets and boxes! I don’t do my hair beyond a blast with the hairdryer, or my nails or makeup unless there’s a good reason.

    I love my husband. I play silly games with my son. I make time for good friends. I work full time. Every now and then I find my way to the gym.

    That’s how I write 🙂

  21. Katie,
    I don’t cook. (Often.) But thankfully, I have a husband who likes to grill and a son-in-love who went to culinary school!
    I don’t sew. (Complete fail.)
    I don’t do crafts. (Craft-challenged.)
    I don’t scrapbook. (Wait. That’s a turbo-charged craft, right?)
    I don’t volunteer at my daughter’s school UNLESS I can do it from home.
    I heard another quote once that said “A wise woman knows her limitations.”
    I like to think I’ve gotten wiser as the years have gone by.

    1. Oh, look, I’m replying to myself!
      Thanks for the shout-out!


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