My husband works extremely hard. On most mornings he leaves for work at 7:30am and returns fourteen hours later. But when he’s at work, he’s at work and he doesn’t need to think or worry about anything else.
I have six hours to work before I have pick up my son, and then my time belongs to my children until about 9pm. I then head back to my desk to complete my work day.
I struggle. To build my copywriting business, write my novel, practice my writing, do homework with my kids, cook, clean and read.
Of course I feel blessed to live in a time when as both a woman and a human being I know I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I also know that I’m not unique. Mothers today are willing to work harder than ever, looking for a way they can do it all. And many women go out on a limb building their own businesses to provide them with both a professional and creative outlet that gives them financial stability and the freedom they need to raise their children.
Each and every one of my days is packed like an overstuffed suitcase with tasks that need to be completed and goals that need to be met. For me, one of my main goals is finishing the second draft of my novel.
Until very recently, I’ve found that I when it comes to writing my novel, I incessantly procrastinate. Despite the fact that I love my story, the characters and the plot I consistently put it off. There’s always something more pressing that needs to get done. And then, not getting any writing down, I’d write the day off in my head. There are simply not enough hours.
According to Parkinson’s law “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
I decided to see if the opposite works as well – does work compress so as to fill the time available for its completion?
Instead of beginning a task and working on it until I complete it, I started the other way. With time. I decided that I was going to allocate a certain amount of time to a goal and see how much I could get done in that amount of time, assuming that I wasn’t going to complete my task, but that I would come close.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that in many cases I was completing my task in even less time than I had allocated for it.
And so I tried it with my novel writing. I began allocating two hours to writing my novel each day. I was surprised the first day when I hit my word goal. I was delighted when I hit it again the second day. And I was outright ecstatic when it happened the third day.
So now this is my new plan. No matter how busy I am or how many tasks or goals I have, I must write for two hours. No more, no less. But two hours, slogging it out. Pen against paper, paper against pen. And sometimes my head gets in the way. It’s not pretty. But I assure you, by September 2014 that second draft will be completed.
So in answer to the question – is writing two hours a day enough? I’ve decided that the answer is – it doesn’t matter how much time a day you designate to writing as long as you are present, doing what you set out to do – write. Pure, free, fresh and creative.