Yet another question asked by nearly everyone who struggles to pay the bills, yet pursue the passion of writing is “When can I write?” It’s a timely point with NaNoWriMo coming up in a few weeks.
It’s a hard question to ask, because a singular answer is nearly impossible to acquire. For me, it’s going to set a bad example to my daughter as I have a tendency to neglect a lot of chores and tasks until the weekend. As I look at weeds and grass overtaking my patio space and a sink full of neglected dishes, I can tell you that sacrifice is going to happen. The question is where the sacrifice occurs.
For me, it’s sleep and some menial chores during the week. However, providing for my wife and daughter is first priority, writing has to come after that, plain and simple. So, I spend as much time as I can with my daughter in the morning, head to my Integrated Production job at an ad agency, which is a ton of fun and very challenging. Then it’s home to have a nice dinner, spend some time with the wife, wait for her to call it a night, then I start to write until I crash. Is it the perfect scenario? Absolutely not. Is it the perfect scenario for where we are in our lives? Absolutely.
Now that you’ve started tracking your time, you can find the time where writing is possible, whether it’s weekends, or if you have overlapping schedules, or your significant other has a group of friends that enjoys a routine meeting, set that time. Ask for a block to be sanctioned off in the same way that you set time to work out.
If you’re truly dedicated to writing, you’ll find a way to make time. For some, going to the gym is essential to keep a pre-existing condition at bay or a previous injury from occurring again.
Think of the writing bug as a disease, and the only cure, is more cowbell. Kidding, but couldn’t let that opportunity slip. If the writing bug is a disease, the only way to keep it from going rampant and making you miserable is to write, to keep the bug in a healthy state instead of going viral in the ugly way, not the fun, internet sensation, way.
When I go to meetings with fellow writers to discuss our projects, where we’re looking for help, and such, it becomes a revealing discussion of how little sleep we all get.
However, amongst the group of insomniacs, we saw two of us get published (myself included), three gained representation with an agent, two were finalists in the RMFW Gold Contest, and a new book was released after a Kickstarter campaign that reached every last stretch goal. None of us have lofty schedules, more than a few of us have children under three (again, myself included) and our schedules are all absolute nightmares. Having said that, no matter how frantic it gets, we still find time to write.
Remember, there’s always a reason to not do something.
How are you making time to write? Chime in with the comments section. The conversation’s always live on Twitter @ThomasAFowler, use the hash-tag #WritersConquest. As always, keep checking my official website for the latest updates. Thanks so much for taking on the Writer’s Conquest.