My Writing Week #17: Finding the time

‘Where do you find the time?’

People often ask me this, wondering how I manage to fit so much into my life. I sometimes wonder that of other people – I asked one friend this week if she ever sleeps.  And while my never-still, always-busy, fingers-in-many-pies personality means I manage to do a lot, to cross off multiple items on the infinite to-do list that is my life in the same 24 hours a day as everyone else, sometimes I wonder … how will I find the time?


Sometimes, when day-to-day life overtakes things, I despair of finding the time to write. To read. To relax. To watch a movie without feeling guilty or like I have to be folding the washing at the same time. To do the things I said I would do (for me or for others) or simply, would like to do. To take some time away from the to-do’s just to be. I’m not alone, am I? If you’re reading this, I’ll bet you’ve thought similar things at one point or another.

At the moment, I’m working on a novel in my ‘spare time’ (I create this by getting up early). It’s a slow process. I’ve only written about 2000 words on it in the past few weeks because my spare time is also being used for other projects that will help build my author profile. Like releasing a children’s picture book (and dusting off a couple of other manuscripts I wrote years ago). Like promoting The Point of Love, the novelette that is being released on Valentine’s Day. Like researching short fiction competitions and working on submissions. Like making sure I keep on top of social media … which is apparently is working because thanks to the kite-surfing photo below, I know have a number of new followers on Twitter and Instagram who think I’m madly into the sport. Little do they know most of my surfing is online.


I’m supposed to be committing to completing a daily writing prompt (I’m four days behind again), as well as keep a journal of sorts (that’s to help me deal with anxiety and tendency to over-worry – bet you’re not surprised by that admission). As I look at all the life things I have to do (and choose to do, let’s be honest), I feel like my energy is trickling away.


I feel a bit like this flower…


So, instead of whinging, what am I going to do? First up, be thankful that I have spare time now and then. Be thankful for the life I have and the people in it. Second, allow myself to be me, to feel my feelings … even if they aren’t always good. And then I’m going to re-set a few goals. Be honest with myself about what I can do… and what I can not do. Remember to say ‘no’ sometimes (I’m much better at dishing out that advice than following it). And I’ll try not to be everything for everyone. That’s the plan. Wish me luck. And remind me of this next time I’m feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes I forget.




Monique Mulligan

Monique Mulligan

0 Responses

  1. Hi Monique, You wear many hats and accomplish a great deal in each day. I have no idea how you manage to do it all, and I’m in awe! Good on you, though, for starting to say, ‘No’. Saying ‘No’ gives you the freedom to say, ‘Yes’, to more of the things you want to do.

    1. Thank you, Louise. We all wear many hats in the balancing act that is life.

      I think sometimes we just need to admit to ourselves that we can’t do it all, and refocus on what’s important. It’s a cyclical experience – sometimes we refocus and readjust goals and then we have to do it all over again.

      1. Yes, it’s hard to admit you can’t do it all. Speaking from experience, it gets easier. Still, even knowing my limitations, I still feel selfish saying, No. I think that’s the thing—we feel selfish, when it’s really self-care.

  2. Time is a problem for many, when my trainees say they don’t have tome to work on their submission. I turn a funny shade of red and scream PRIORITISE. Of course I am exactly the same, the other word is CULL. Well that’s not going to happen either, we only live once, I think? Rae x

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