How do you find time to write?

Saturday, May 9, 2009
It's a question I've been asking myself a lot lately. For me, writing is like taking a shower or eating. If I don't do it every day, things stink and I get cranky. But finding the time with 3 kids (7, 3.5, and 2 months), clearing, my jewelry business, cleaning, errands, cooking, cleaning . . . I could go on, but it makes me tired just thinking about it.

I've tried taking a step back and thinking, "What can I cut so I have more time for my family and writing?" I could stop sleeping, but I only get four hours as is. I refuse to stop exercising. In the end, I compiled a list of things to eliminate:
  1. TV. No arguments. It's a waste of time.
  2. Superfluous activities. You know what I'm talking about. I'm not saying that you cut every second of TV, every single girl's night out. But if you're seriously crunched for writing time, you might have take a long look at your extracurricular activities and decide which ones could be trimmed down and which ones need to stay in place for your sanity and relationships.
  3. House cleaning. I clean every surface once a week. Kids take a sack of fishy crackers and stomp them all over the floor-they clean it up. If floor needs mopped, I think to myself "I mop on Wed. It can wait until then."

In the end, it's all about balance. Like all things, busy times come and go. If you're in one of those busy times with me, take a deep breath, prioritize, and simplify.

Easier said than done, but you can do it. Let's do it together (goodbye Lost, The Office, and SouthLAnd. :( I will miss you, but it's for the best).

I'd love to hear any ideas you have for saving time.

Happy writing!


  1. Yes. TV goes. I don't watch TV. I don't mop nearly as much as I should. I hardly dust. I don't sleep much. And I have the computer in an easily accessible place. Always on so I can sit down and type away at any free moment.


    hmmm, I guess I just steal time wherever I can. a little when the kids are eating breakfast close to me, a little when they are playing with friends, doing homeschooling, at the park with their dad. when he leaves town and the new baby comes, i'm in trouble, but i don't plan to give up. one tip is to not check email incessantly!

  1. B J Keltz said...:

    No TV here. I can't afford the time it takes. My stay at home hubby is a terrible housekeeper, so I take care of the bathroom and linens... the rest is on him as long as I can stand it.

    Now, if I could just get the feed reader and blogs under control, I could free up another few hours...


  1. With the huge amount of homework and studying I usually have on my shoulders, writing comes when I am losing sleep--which is oftentimes too handle, so I wait until the weekends and the summers. It's a challenge. :)

  1. Glamis: Sounds a lot like me. Ever wonder if it's worth it?

    Kerrie: I like your tip. I'm waiting to hear good news from my agent, so I check my email too much.

    BJ: Sometimes I wonder if I should cut the blog. It's hard enough to find time to write, let alone blog.

    Weronika: Keep plugging away at it!

  1. We do TV-- three shows sans commercials (we record and watch at our convenience). It's our relationship-building time (don't laugh at me: I did a whole post on my blog defending myself; it works for us).

    I've used the writing-as-showering line manymany times. It was interesting to me right after I "finished" my latest project I *had* to start at once to work on something else-- not actively, but subconsciously at least. I felt all "hormonal" till I did.

  1. Josi said...:

    I've done all kinds of things--taking one day to catch up on errands, cleaning, etc, then writing the next day every second I can find. I use the crock pot for dinner a lot, I also make double meals and freeze half. I write while waiting for appointments and kids and take an hour after the kids go to bed to just write. I watch TV or listen to talk radio while I clean. I think the key is making it a priority and then not letting anything else kick it out of the top of your list.

  1. Amy: I would never laugh at you. With you, yes. At you, no. ;) I'm all for doing what works.

    Josi: Crock prot and freezing meals is something I try to do as well. Sometimes it works better than others. Right now, nothing seems to work. ;)

  1. Amber-- this age your youngest is was the easiest time for me to write, as I used all (or most) of his nursing time as computer time.

    I did NaNoWriMo when he was 6 months and grew an impressive (to me) one-handed WPM. You might try it.

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