It seems that all writers - whether new, seasoned, professional or "hobbyist" - are faced with the same dilemma. Finding time to write!
I recently read a book by Joanna Penn called Productivity for Authors in which she talks at length about this very topic. (I plan to write and post a review on the book here in the near future.) It comes down to one very basic, and rather blunt, principle: if it's important enough you will make the time.
I dreamed about the day when I would quit teaching and be able to write full time. Oh, the books I would churn out! Although I am technically only semi-retired since I work as a teacher consultant from home, I do have much more freedom in my schedule these days and more time each day, too. Strangely, it hasn't translated into more books...
When I first started writing, I squeezed it in during my baby daughter's nap time each day. How I looked forward to those precious, uninterrupted few hours! Later, when I had four children, homeschooled, and there were no naps, I instituted a quiet time most afternoons where they had to entertain themselves by working on hobbies, reading, or playing. Sometimes it worked and I got some writing done!
When I went back to teaching full time this all had to change. Suddenly, cracks of time were filled with household tasks or church related duties since my husband had gone into full time ministry by then. I found myself waiting for larger chunks of time - spring break, summer holidays and the odd long weekend.
Once my children had grown, I could again squeeze some daily writing time into evenings and weekends. When I look back at the decade from 2008 to 2018, I am amazed at the amount I accomplished while still working full time. I signed my first book deal in 2008 and was thrown into the fire of learning to market, never mind write! But somehow I managed to get quite a large catalogue of books and plays published.
These days I am very grateful for a more relaxed schedule. Health issues have had me sidelined for some periods these last few years, but most of the time I am very intentional about writing every day. I understand more and more the importance of just showing up to do the work, even if it's only a few words. Over time, these words add up.
I have also come to firmly believe the advice of so many authors like Joanna Penn, Stephen King, Murray Pura and others. Don't wait for the muse. Show up to do the work and the muse will follow.
We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day. I realize that life goes through seasons and sometimes we will have more time for writing than at other times. However, no matter the season or situation, choosing to write is really the only effective way of 'finding time' to write. I don't think there will ever be an ideal circumstance, for we humans tend to make excuses. (I know I do!)
Whether it's cracks or canyons, fill it with writing if that is truly what you want to do, but stop making excuses about not having the time. Too blunt? Sorry. Sometimes the truth hurts!
Tracy Krauss writes - and does other stuff, too! - from her home in Tumbler Ridge, BC. She is currently serving as InScribe's President. To view her catalogue of books and plays, visit her website: https://tracykrauss.com -fiction on the edge without crossing the line-