I was talking to a dear writing friend today about the nonstop chaos and drama of life happening around us. We met at the beginning of our writing journeys about twenty years ago and have remained close. For the first ten years of our careers, we homeschooled several children as we wrote novels. Our kids are mostly grown now and so that should mean a quiet house and more time to write. That hasn’t happened for either of us. If anything, the noise has grown louder, turning into full-on chaos. I’m not talking distractions. I mean one crisis after another.
A lot of writers might give up or at least put writing aside for a season. Of course, there’s a season for everything and that could be the right choice. But some writers count on the income and have contracts, so they’re committed to meet their deadlines and can’t put writing aside until the quiet reigns again.
If life is throwing too many literal twists and turns at you, how do you find time to write, especially when creative minds can struggle if stress levels are high?
If you’re feeling crushed under the pressures of life, I encourage you to take a deep breath—for your own sanity—and put all the demands away. That’s right—store them away into separate boxes. I’ve found that the best way to carve out time and give myself peace of mind so creative juices can flow is to simply compartmentalize. I love that word. It makes me feel in control every time I think about it. I’m only one person and I can’t do it all or answer everyone’s demands—at least all at once.
Of course, I don’t put my tasks in literal boxes, but I make “to do” lists. I write everything down, and then pick a date or a week when I will focus on one specific task or satisfy a demand. For you as an author, the most important box is your writing box. You open that one every day. Write during the best time of day for you. For me it’s in the morning before the day gets noisy and more demands require compartmentalizing.
You’re not alone in your struggle to carve out writing time and space to think. Do an internet search on compartmentalizing to give ideas on how to live a stress-free life and still get it all done.
If I can do it, you can too.
Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty novels, including Present Danger and the Uncommon Justice series.
Her books have sold over one million copies. She is a Carol Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she's not writing, she loves spending time
with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at