I’m here to share a secret with you all. Gather near. Lean in. Shh.
I have a superpower.
No, I can’t fly, become invisible, or see through walls. My power is far more useful and pragmatic, and it’s also transferrable; after reading this post, you can assume it for yourself. Are you ready? Here it is:
I can make 25 hours out of 24.
Think of me as an extremely low-level Time Lord. If I weren’t one, I’d be in big trouble. I’m a debut author, which means that I don’t have a steady stream of authorial income; instead, I’m a full-time middle-school teacher with three preps, I have a three-year-old son, I just turned in the revision of my first novel, and in five months I have a second manuscript to deliver. Somewhere in there, there’s also a husband who is fighting the good fight with me. I think I glimpsed him at one point yesterday.
I want these demands to be made upon my time. These are good things. But to juggle them requires superhuman effort. So for all you new and aspiring authors out there who are trying to make your writing a priority right alongside your job, your family life, and whatever else is competing for your time and attention, I’m here to help you. Just follow these steps, and you too can squeeze an extra hour out of the clock each day.
10 SERIOUS AND IMPORTANT STEPS THAT WILL TURN YOU INTO A SUPER
1. Don’t do your hair. Scrape it into a knot on your head and put a headband on to make it look like you tried. There. That’s nice. Gentlemen, you look especially fetching.
2. Don’t turn your clothes right side out until you put them on. You are too busy for that. Hanging and folding your laundry is now officially optional. May I suggest draping everything artistically over your bedroom furniture? Dumping armloads of fresh, warm laundry into a graceful rocking chair and then throwing a blanket over the heap is another option (you’re welcome).
3. Cereal is a dinner food. Toast is also acceptable. Gluten-free options available at your local location that offers gluten-free options.
4. Let shaving slide. It’s winter, okay? Also, maybe your husband owes you for the various beard “styles” (lumberjack, Lincoln, Manson) you have loved without judgment (okay, so calling it a Manson beard is kind of a judgment) over the years.
5. Red lights afford the perfect amount of time in which to file your fingernails.
6. Your car is filthy because you are environmentally conscious. Not for any other reason.
7. Coffee is a breakfast food. It also makes a lovely snack.
8. It’s totally okay to go on for five months digging at the same obviously finished lipstick tube with the bottom of a pen in order to apply your makeup. This is normal. Also, nobody can see you.
9. Lunch is optional. Keep a supply of stale Halloween candy in a drawer in your office, and shove it in your mouth between completing tasks. You’ll be fine.
10. This is the only serious one: Make a date with your writing, and keep it. Even if you can only do this once a week, it will add up big time. I have a standing date with a highly responsible teaching colleague who never cancels, and we keep each other accountable. We meet every Sunday night at 5pm at a Starbucks that closes at 8. It has comfy chairs, and I write for three solid hours. I am rested from the weekend, I can be focused and productive, and I don’t feel guilty about being away from my son, who is at home having some serious Dad time. Without this standing date, I would not have finished my revision on time. No way.
That’s it. POW. You’ve been granted a superpower (and a glimpse into my grimy, nutritionally challenged private life).
How do you scratch out time for your writing?
Megan Morrison is the author of GROUNDED: A TALE OF RAPUNZEL, due out summer 2015 from Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic. GROUNDED is the first book in the Tyme Series, co-created with Ruth Virkus. You can follow Megan on her blog at makingtyme.blogspot.com or on Twitter at @megtyme. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette.