Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Power of Thirty Minutes

by Julie Coulter Bellon

If you haven’t voted already, today is the last day to vote in LDS Publishers Annual Cover contest. Go here to vote for your favorite cover!

It’s a brand new year and I’ve made some New Year’s resolutions. I won’t bore you with all of them here, but one of them was to take thirty minutes a day as a gift to myself and write. Now some of you may say pshaw, what can you do in thirty minutes? Why would that be a gift to yourself?

It’s because I’m a parent. I think most parents are alike in that everything else seems to come first before yourself. Parents are concerned with helping Johnny do his homework, and making sure Janey has dinner before she heads out to her volunteer work, or that the baby is fed and changed. There is always something to do and at the end of the day I pretty much just fall into bed exhausted and think to myself, I’ll get that writing done tomorrow.

The thing is, I’ve had ideas for two non-fiction books come to me in a really strong manner. I also have another fiction novel idea that I’d like to dive into. But without taking time for myself, and giving myself permission to have that gift, they will never get done. And I don’t think that God would have given us talents and inspiration without wanting us to do something with them.

Now, I’ve been told in the past that there is a time and a season for everything, and that maybe this isn’t my season for writing. Unfortunately, I have also realized that if I don’t write, and don’t take that time for myself, I start to feel smothered somehow and burdened. There is just something so freeing and stress-relieving for me to be able to sit down and write. And, honestly, I don’t think there is any particular time in my life when it will be my season for writing. Writing is just a part of me and a part of my life. It’s more of a need and not something I can wait to do when my kids are older or when a different “season” comes along.

So, while thirty minutes may not be much, it’s all mine, and I know if I can really focus, I’ll be able to get on paper the stories and ideas that are coming to my mind, and I’ll also be a happier person who is developing talents and pursuing dreams. Who knew thirty little minutes could do all that?


At 1/06/2011 3:16 PM, Blogger ~T~ said...

Yes, but which 30 minutes? My 4-year-old gets jealous of my computer time well before that. He only naps when I'm jogging, driving, grocery shopping, or napping myself. And when his brothers are home to play with him, there is too much going on. I just can't wake any earlier or stay up much later. Do you have any strategies to share?

At 1/06/2011 3:25 PM, Blogger Shanda said...

Thank you, Julie, I needed to "hear" this today.

Shanda :)

At 1/06/2011 4:02 PM, Blogger Tamara Hart Heiner said...

yeah, no kidding! time? what's that?

I voted!

At 1/06/2011 6:04 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

T, for me, I've had to shift around some of my schedule because my little ones are changing every day. So, as of today, I'm doing it in fifteen minute increments. I do fifteen minutes in the morning when my two year old's favorite show is on and the baby is fed and happy and will sit in the swing for fifteen minutes or so. Sometimes I can get the whole thirty minutes in then, but mostly, I get the other fifteen minutes in the afternoon when my older children come home and can entertain the younger ones for fifteen minutes. Somehow fifteen minutes seems very achievable for everyone, but it takes a lot of focus for me to truly be in the zone and actually write. For that, I know I have to really think about my writing long before I get to the computer so that when I'm there, I'm making the most of my time.

I don't know if that helps, but that's what I'm doing right now and so far, so good. :) I've gotten more done than I thought would be possible and it's a good morale booster for me. Let me know what works for you, okay?

Shanda, I'm so glad.

Tamara, it's a fun contest, isn't it? :)

At 1/06/2011 6:52 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

That's an awesome self-less goal, because a happy content mother makes for a happy content home. We get so blinded by dust and dirt. I don't get it. We pay extra for organic and that's all dust and dirt is. So give your kids a hug and a squeeze and turn a blind eye to the vacuum and write the story you are inspired to create.


Post a Comment

<< Home