Sometimes it seems like I just can't get out of my own way. I have things to say, important (maybe) things to say and an eloquent (maybe) way to say them. But when I sit down and put pen or pencil to paper or fingertips to keyboard, I get nada. Zilch, zero, zip.
What gives? I spend the majority of my time taking care of my family, and I'm meticulous about setting aside time to write. I know that I need clear head space, quiet, nothing in my way. And still, nothing.
I will wake up early! When the house is quiet, before the noise (both actual and psychic) fires up, before the kids wake up and after the husband leaves for work. So, naturally this worked the one time. It's since devolved into an hour of me, on the couch, getting my caffeine and checking email / Facebook / blog feeds / Dragonvale ... and hey, you, the one who invited me to the Farm game that's basically Candy Crush with vegetables? There's a special circle in hell for you. I'm a sucker for the stuff.
Then suddenly, it's time for the kids to get up and get ready for school and it's an hour that pulls apart the fibers of my concentration as I futilely struggle to comprehend how it is that every morning I am a machine of nagging questions and reminders ... please eat, you still have to shower! Did you comb your hair / brush your teeth / make your lunch yet? What do you mean you need that today? You didn't finish your homework that you told me you didn't have? ... My children are my children--easily distracted and well-meaning little bundles of sarcasm.
After that it's a morning catching up on email and chatting online with my other mom friends who are up and caffeinated. All of a sudden, it's lunch and I need a shower! Ooh, I should make cookies. I need to finish that thing ... after I run errands. Hey! A sale on socks. I need socks. I should go there. Look at that cute purse. You know where you can find a cute purse? That store over there. Ooh, great selection. Oh crap! I need to get the kids! What are we going to have for dinner tonight?
And the whole landscape of hours of free time that I had is POOF! suddenly gone. Okay, well maybe not suddenly gone, but do you get the picture? This is a fairly typical day where my focus and concentration is just non existant.
Later that evening, when I'm doing the dishes or something equally stimulating but necessary, my focus becomes laser-sharp. I create a plan of brilliant attack for the next day, a to do list so artfully done I should get a gold star. Then I get distracted and remember that scene from A Christmas Story where Ralphie writes a theme he's so proud of, he drifts off into a dream sequence where his teacher gleefully gives him an A+! +! +! +! +! ... and I forget to write any of it down.
Then it's off to bed, the hamster jumps off the wheel in my brain, and I do it all over again the next morning.
What's my long, rambling disjointed point? Well, clearly, my most focused time of day (and I'm using that phrase fairly liberally hear as clearly "most focused" is not a phrase that accurately describes any part of me) is in the evening. And while I feel guilty all the day long about not attending to the writing that I should be doing, I'm not accomplishing anything. However, if I make good use of that laser-focused time in the evening, I could be much more successful in my writing endeavors.
For years, I've been fighting against myself, trying to turn myself into a morning person; I'm just going to embrace that it's not gonna happen.
So, is the timing holding you back? Think about how you spend your days and when your brain is engaged and most conducive to writing.
When is good for you?