Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A caregiver's guide to writing

For those people who care for the needs of others, I know how it feels to have your time sucked away.  This is beyond the normal needs of children and loved ones.  This is for those caring for people dealing with debilitating diseases like cancer and even Alzheimer's, but not just limited to those.

How does one find time to write?

The short answer: very carefully, and if it's only in short bursts, then do it.

It's how I write.  Now, as my wife has been cancer-free from her leukemia for the past 2 years, she still deals with many of the side effects, such as tiredness.  She's been going through severe eye problems these last few months too--she did back in October 2011, and things have progressively gotten worse this summer.  And because of this, I end up doing the majority of the daily chores along with the kids.  Keep in mind, I don't want pity from people nor do I want anyone to feel sorry for me.  That's not the point of this post.  What I want is to encourage those caregivers out there that you can do it, you can still realize your dream while at the same time care for the needs of others.

Are there times when I get frustrated and so tired from the long hours that I don't feel like writing?  Yes.  Do I still put words down on the digital paper.  Sometimes.  Depending on the day, most days I do, but mostly on the weekends I do not.

Your writing time may be limited as a caregiver, but even five minutes here and ten minutes there can add up over time.  Be deliberate about your "free time."  Commit to writing even 100-200 words a day if needed.  A typical 75K novel at 200 words a day will be completed in 375 days--just a little over a year.  Increase that amount of 250 even, and that number drops to 300 days.  If you can't write daily, set weekly goals.  Write those goals down, and track your progress.

You can do it.  Don't be discouraged.  Be deliberate with your time.  Commit to doing the work you were meant to do.

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