Writing a novel is a time-consuming endeavor.
Finding time to write is a constant struggle for writers who hold down a day job.
This issue is exacerbated when offspring demand the aspiring author’s time.
When Do You Write If You Have A Day Job And Kids?
You’re probably exhausted by the end of the day, only fit to stream the latest Netflix show or collapse in bed––maybe both!
You might be able to carve out time on the weekends or not.
If you’re like me, you find yourself ferrying your progeny from one sporting event to another on most weekends.
The Would-Be Author’s Conundrum
The typical advice to reach authorial success is to develop the habit of writing daily or, at the very least, hacking out words regularly.
How is that possible when eight-plus hours of the day, five days a week, is taken up by work?
Some jobs are mentally draining, and writing requires the mind to focus.
If you didn’t have to focus, it might not be so hard to craft sparkling prose after the children return home from school to stage gladiatorial contests at your feet.
The Would-Be Author’s Solution- Possibly?
There are no easy solutions to these issues for the writer to state the obvious. Most of us, even those with published novels, can’t afford to quit our day jobs.
We have mouths to feed and mortgages and all the other trappings of modern life to pay for.
What I can offer is a flicker of hope to all the struggling wordsmiths out there by describing what works for me.
First, try writing while everybody else is asleep.
Granted, this means either late nights or early mornings, but I find it’s the only way to write daily or nearly so without constant interruption. Even on the weekends, I’m up in the wee hours of the morning for quality time at the keyboard before breakfast and chauffeuring duties call.
I have to rise pretty early to beat my younger son. He wakes up no later than seven and often complains I didn’t wake him up at four or five A.M.
Other than having uninterrupted writing time, I like cranking out words in the morning because that’s when my mind is freshest.
I don’t have the workday detritus clogging my neural pathways.
You might wonder how one can stay awake while rising long before the sun. I go to bed early and drink coffee by the pot.
When Life Interrupts
Of course, life will always find a way to disrupt your writing. This used to frustrate the heck out of me.
Commitments in all their forms come up and require attention.
Your kids get sick or have sports or will only eat the flavor of boxed macaroni and cheese that’s sold out. Tough luck. That’s life. Roll with it.
I believe the best advice Stephen King offers in On Writing, and I’m paraphrasing here, is to expect and accept distractions.
There is no magical place where you will be able to write completely undistracted. Don’t get frustrated. You’ll bang out more words in the end.
About the Author
Dan Rice pens the young adult urban fantasy series The Allison Lee Chronicles in the wee hours of the morning. The series kicks off with Dragons Walk Among Us, which Kirkus Reviews calls, “An inspirational and socially relevant fantasy.”
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