Saturday, July 28, 2012

When Does She Find Time to Write?

While I am an author, and damned proud of it, I am not at the point where I can quit the day job.  As a working wife and mother of small children, it is still necessary for me to keep my current employment, for the betterment of the family.  I promote when I can and mention my publishing credits where I feel they will best be received.  This is most often during my business day, which takes me out of the office frequently, and in venues where being a writer is an advantage.  Regardless of where I am, I get the same question all the time: Where do you find the time to write?

Maybe a few years ago, I would have looked at you like you were insane.  Write?  Back then I would have barely had time to shower.  Babies and diapers were the watchwords of the day, not queries and blurbs and log lines, oh my.  And if there ever was a synchronized nap, I pounced on the opportunity to sleep myself, that particular activity being few and far between.

But now that the kids are older, I have been able to carve out a writing time for myself.  Let me set the stage so you can picture it yourself.

Hubs wakes at 4am for work and so he and the kids are all down  by 9-930pm.  I police the house, locking doors, turning off lights, and tucking everyone in.  Then I go downstairs and get ready.  Large glass of iced tea, my iPhone where I keep notes, and blessed peace and quiet.  I shove the ottoman up to the couch and stretch out cross both, my laptop, ironically, on my lap.  TV on in the background and off I go.  Whether its a horror night, a young adult paranormal evening, or a go-'round with my as-yet-failed attempt at a dystopic novel, I won't know until I open the computer.

As I lift the top, it's some kind of cue for Musina to join the party.  Together we decide the theme of the night and like magic, the words come.

So, when people tell me they don't have time to write, I just think they are using a stalling tactic so they don't have to face the truth; the words aren't there.  I know there are many who stand by the standard of making yourself write something every day.  That just doesn't work for me.  I know.  I've tried it.  I just end up tanking anything I forced out.  If the words aren't there, they will sound false, disingenuous.  I prefer to be called to the laptop, like a victim of a siren song from an irresistible force.  I need to be compelled to write, in the same manner I am compelled to breathe.  Musina is pretty good at that.  The compelling part I mean.  I leave my laptop right on the ottoman so it is always in sight.  And when the urge strikes, like I said, off I go.

And as for finding time to write, that's an easy one to answer; I make time.  It's just that important.


  1. Well said! Enough feeling guilty if one can't write daily - its whatever works for each person, right? I usually end up binge writing during my summer vaca from school and during spring break. Not that I don't write at other times, too, but its hard to squeeze it all in. I also love NaNoWriMo in that it forces me to write daily, but i just can;t keep that pace up afterward. Great post. I love hearing how other 'real' people are managing

  2. Glad to hear I'm not alone. It's so hard to juggle it all, especially when the dayjob sucks all the creative marrow from my bones! So here I am on a Saturday, doing my best to crank out the last few chapters of my WIP while everybody else watches the Olympics. So what if it only happens every four years? I've got a book to write, dang it! LOL!

  3. You're correct, the words have to come to you, you can't go to them.