Everyone has them. The responsibilties and distractions that mean death to your writing life.
Unlike real serial killers, some of them are justifiable. But many are not. Either way, if you let them, they will sneak into your daily routines and effectively kill your writing life.
Here are a few of mine.
(1) My Family and Friends
These people are important to me, so they are allowed to kill my writing time, to a point. They deserve my attention and I am going to give it to them. (Love you guys.)
This is the beginning of my eighth year as a teacher. Education is more than a job to me, it is a passion. It is one of the ways I share myself and my spirit with the world. Just like my family, my students and co-workers deserve and will receive my attention. I was lucky to find a part time teaching position. This was a necessity for my sanity when I was in grad school. Now it gives me the opportunity to continue to focus attention on my writing life.
All writers should also be readers. It's another way of studying your craft. For me, reading is also a form of stress relief. There is nothing like a quiet saturday spent in bed with a good book. Still, you can't allow reading to take up all of your spare time. You have to find the time, make the time, to write.
(4) Cleaning/ Organization
I have to admit, this only becomes a problem when I'm looking for a distraction. I wish my house was as clean as my best friend's is. Don't get me wrong, it's not a total disaster area, but it could use more regular attention. With that said, I work better in a clutter/distraction free environment. So, the time spent keeping my house/room in reasonable order helps me be a more consistent writer. (If it gets too crazy and I have a deadline, I usually escape to the local yogurt shop to get focused.)
As a story teller, I find myself drawn to television and movies becasue of their characters and story lines. Currently, my favorite show is "Doctor Who." I also love NCIS, Castle, Bones, and The Big Bang Theory. Everyone needs down time. That is what television is for me. Sometimes when I leave the house to write it's becasue I know that is the only way I won't get sucked into one of my shows.
(6) Social Media
During my second year of grad school, I became a bit addicted to Facebook. I was stressed and more than a little overwhelmed. Spending an hour on Facebook became a good way to distract myself and decompress. Still, I over did it a few times. At one point my sister even sent me a message because I was taking so many of those silly quizes and posting the results. I still spend time on Facebook, but now I scan it looking for articles to blog about.
Deciding to pursure the life of an writer/artist takes a serious commitment. There are people and things in your life that deserve your attention. Honor them. Respect them. But make sure you commit to your writing. It is your responsibility to find a blance. I know you can do.