Eight Ways to Make Time for Writing

March 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm (Business of Writing, Writing, Writing Craft)

balancing_act_by_xphranque-d2yrjld

My new novel FALLEN BEAUTY launched on Tuesday, and I have been overwhelmed with kind words and encouragement. It is a special thing to release a book, and I am blessed to have a network of family and friends who support me in my endeavors.

Inevitably, I get asked a question at launch time, at book clubs, on the sidelines of the hockey rink, and on social media: How Do You Do It All? Sometimes it is asked nicely, other times with suspicion, but it is always asked.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that question, and I want to qualify everything I’m about to say with the fact that I feel like I’m a mess–a Tazmanian-devil, swirling, hyper, scatterbrained mess. My house is often untidy. I’m forgetful. Sometimes I do things like throw my cell phone in the laundry basket to take downstairs, and instead of plugging it into the wall, I toss it in the washing machine and dryer with the clothes.

But that is not the answer people want to hear. They literally want to know how I balance writing and family life, with a husband and three children. As many of you know, there is no such thing as perfect balance. Sometimes I neglect my writing, other times, I neglect life. I try to alternate that time so that over time, something like balance is achieved. I also have learned how to save time, and my list below shows eight ways I save time and allot it for writing, so that I can stay on track with deadlines.

  • I don’t go to the gym. I have a 10 minute nightly routine I do before I go to bed.
  • I only watch TV I’ve DVRd while folding laundry. (Downton Abbey or Dancing with the Stars.)
  • I don’t take on classroom parent/PTA positions. (This is an area that I struggle with and feel judged about at times.)
  • I limit lunches out of the house.
  • I write 1000-2000 words a day. (Or revise 1000-2000 words a day.) If an average novel is around 90,000 words, you can see how a book can be written fairly quickly if there is enough discipline to write in 1000 word intervals.
  • I research the next book while writing the current.
  • I combine book tour travels with research trips.
  • I work at night. (Insomnia is a family curse. I have learned how to use it to my advantage.)

The bottom line is that this is a job. I happen to love my job, but it still requires discipline and a schedule. These tips might not be right for everyone, and I am certainly not saying they are how one should make time. Some of these sacrifices feel like sacrifices, but I have to make priorities that work for me.

Are any of these tips helpful to you? I would love to hear your suggestions for making time for writing.

**Photo Courtesy of BreakFreePhotography at DeviantArt.com

About these ads

6 Comments

  1. Phoebe Chase said,

    As a FT working wife and mother of three, these tips were very helpful. I think I can commit to 1,000 words a day using my lunch break and some time in the evening. Thank you!

    • erikarobuck said,

      That’s wonderful, Phoebe! I’m glad this was helpful. Best wishes in your writing.

  2. Cynthia Robertson said,

    I have wondered how you manage to produce so many books so fast. Thanks for sharing your tips. I’m not sure I could do #6. Once a topic is in my head, it’s hard for me to sustain writing about another. You’re a fabulous multi-tasking writer if you can do that! #8 I can relate too though; I read something inspirational about using that time to do what we really want to do – to put it to purpose. Kudos to you for getting that, Erika. And best wishes for this latest novel. You truly are astounding, the way you can produce such quality so quickly, and still have a life. Hilarious about the cell phone. :)

  3. erikarobuck said,

    Thank you for your comment, Cynthia. I’m glad this was helpful. It’s a tricky balance…

  4. Jennifer King (@JenniferLynKing) said,

    Brilliant, Erika. I love most that you hold it all loosely, yet work toward a goal both in writing and in your life. Thanks for always and continually inspiring me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 138 other followers

%d bloggers like this: