Making the Time

I’m a writer. My debut novel, Dissension, is coming out in February. It’s book one of a trilogy and I haven’t finished book two or three just yet. My publisher has me on a schedule to have each book come out on an annual basis, so the other books will be finished soon enough. But is writing my life? I wish! I would love to be a full time writer and have nothing else on my plate. But I come from a world called reality, and things generally don’t work that way.

I have been blessed with my loving husband and two beautiful children. My husband makes enough that I get to stay home and take care of the kids while he works, so in that regard – I’m very lucky! However, staying home and taking care of young kids who aren’t old enough to go to school does take up quite a bit of my time. I’m also involved in helping out in my community through my church and I am working really hard to lose weight. So the majority of my time goes to my children, I make it a priority to workout Monday through Friday, and once a week I am doing something for my community.

So where do I find the time to write? I make time. My schedule is just one of many examples of writers and their busy lives. For those who don’t have a sugar daddy (just a joke, hubby, I promise!), they have a day job that takes up plenty of their time along with other commitments. But we all have one thing in common: we’re busy, and yet writing is a priority to us so we make time for it. I can’t give specific examples on other writers, but I can tell you little things that I do.

First off, nap time. When my toddler takes her nap, my older son has quiet time in front of a movie and I get some writing done. Sometimes, my son will require me to attend to him here and there, so it’s definitely┬áinterrupted, but it’s something. Even if it’s just fifteen minutes a few times a day – it does add up and you will benefit from trying. I also have my kids on a tight sleeping schedule, so they’re in bed by eight o’clock at the latest every night. This gives me at least two hours of work. You have to keep in mind that it’s not just writing that I’m doing. I also need to do quite a bit of social networking, writing content for this very blog, and other things like that. It’s pretty fun to do, but it does take up time, so it must also be factored in.

I spend my time with my online critique group on Saturdays. My husband gets to have special play time with our kids while I send out my work to be critiqued and then critique other people’s work. I also have a critique group that I meet with in person once a month and a writing group that has monthly meetings. So those nights that I am away, I just call my days off from writing. This usually works well, because after going to those monthly meetings, it gives me a lot of ideas and motivation to keep writing.

Of course, I still need to spend some time with my husband. I love him and like having quality time with him, so we always make sure we can spend Saturday and Sunday nights together (after the kids have gone to bed). There are times when I can’t stick to this schedule due to extended family commitments and whatnot, but as long as I stick to this as much as I’m able to, I am productive enough to generally meet my writing commitments.

I’m not saying this kind of a schedule works for everyone. Some people are a lot more busy than I can imagine, and they still find a way to sit down and work on their novels. The point of this blog is not to tell you what to do or how to find time to write. It’s just to simply say that if you want to write, you can make that time to do it. You can be successful in whatever writing goals you may have in mind for yourself. There may be some sacrifice involved – maybe you will have to lose an hour of sleep each night to get your writing in. But you can do it.

2 thoughts on “Making the Time

  1. Jennifer Griffith says:

    This sounds so close to my writing schedule, I just have to comment! You described the “commitments” of life very well, and the priorities you must choose as a mother and a writer. I agree with all of that! Writing is my hobby, not my life. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and being the mom is my career. The kids and the family are the life. The church commitments are up there too. Community is very important, as well (although as my kids burgeoned into FIVE, I had to let some of those commitments go by the wayside). I’ve found for myself there are seasons of writing–and seasons where I just have to let it be set aside because of time choices I must make. But I agree, when people ask me, “How do you have time to write a novel?” I always answer, “Well, I don’t scrapbook and my house is kinda messy.” I like the way you said it, though, “I make time.” Exactly.

    • admin1 says:

      Wow, Jennifer! Five kids is so many to take care of while you write. Way to go!
      And yes, my house is a little on the messy side as well. It’s all about priorities, right? ­čÖé

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