This is a question I am asked at least once a day. When I tell my friends or acquaintances that I have a book coming out in March, they always raise their eyebrows and tilt their heads and squint. Inevitably, the next thing out of their mouths is – “When did you write a novel?”
The incredulity isn’t that I wrote a book, at least, I don’t think it is. It’s more born of the fact that looking in from the outside I lead a busy life. And that’s not wrong.
I work a full-time day job. Monday through Friday. 8:30 to 5:00 or whenever the job is done. I am married and have three kids. Two school aged (9 and 7) and one baby. My oldest is a special needs child and my youngest just turned one last month. My husband is a nurse who works nights at the hospital so we see each other in passing the majority of the week. Between work and kids’ homework and doctor visits and school events, I sometimes don’t have time to sit down. Not to mention that my husband and I do have hobbies – we both attend Taekwondo classes and play on a local softball team. I crochet when I can and read before bed.
I know this looks like a lot. Believe me, it feels like a lot.
So when do I have time to write?
Honest answer: I don’t have time. I make time.
A long time ago, after I had graduated with my first degree, I decided to take a writing class through a community college. I didn’t get a chance to take one during the four years at my university and it was something I wanted to do. And I’ll never forget what the professor said one day in class.
If you wait for time to do something, you will never do it. If you’re passionate about writing, you’ll find a way to get the words in.
When Interlude Press announced they would be open for submissions in June 2015, I knew I wanted to have something to submit. I have been writing in fan communities since I was a teenager so I had some experience with crafting a story and writing it down. So I sat down in March and wrote the first 15k of The Star Host. Then in April, I wrote the next 35k. In May I wrote another 20k and I finished it up in June.
So when do I make time to write?
In that hour after putting the kids on the bus and before I start getting ready for work. In that time between getting home and dinner. Between diaper changes and during naps. After the kids go to bed until the wee hours to turn around drag myself out of bed at 6am. On Saturdays, secluded in my bedroom. On Sunday afternoons, after softball games, when I am sore and tired and dirty and waiting for the shower.
The point of this post isn’t to toot my own horn. The point is that there are a lot of authors in my same boat– who scrape time up from lost moments and make them productive. Who stay up late and subsist on caffeine to make it through the next work day.
And to those who are like me and have to make time, I raise my Darth Maul coffee cup to you. Because those late nights and early mornings, and those minutes hunched over a notebook in the car while you’re in between appointments, are worth it.
They are so worth it.
So fellow writers/authors when do you write? What’s the best time of day for you to get your words down? Any tips/tricks to share? (because I need them!)
Stay tuned for content about THE STAR HOST, my upcoming novel. Preorder your copy now!