Since I've taken tiny steps up the ladder toward publication (and ultimately, world domination! Mwahahahah! Okay, not really.), people who know about the books deals I'm working on have asked one question often. "How do you find time to write?" It's a valid question. I am married, and we have a house. So that means I spend a decent amount of time spraying and wiping things, running the vacuum, doing laundry, cooking and grocery shopping. We also have two small monkeys that live with us. I'm told they are actually children, and those who seem to know assure me that they are mine. They're cute, so I have decided to accept this situation in the hopes that it will improve in do-ability as their chronological ages increase. In the meantime, this means that a lot of my time is spent doing all of the above-listed things much more often than I feel I should have to. Add in wiping other peoples' butts, picking up other peoples' socks, wracking my brain for new methods of reverse psychology that can be employed in getting the younger monkey to: put on shoes; put on a jacket; walk to the car without having a nervous breakdown; eat something... you get the idea. A lot of the time left after I've done all of that is spent driving the monkeys around to activities and school.
I also work 50% for a management consulting firm. This is mostly an arrangement that I've devised in order to justify my shoe habit. If I didn't have to get dressed up to go to an office, my lovely pumps and platforms and wedges would never get out. And they might conspire to murder me in my sleep. The closet is right next to my bed. And I can't risk that. Oh, and they pay me, so that is good. I do some freelance editing and corporate comms writing as well, so that fills in gaps that would otherwise be unfilled and might be construed as "free time."
I also try to get to the gym five days a week and take a ballet class on Fridays.
I get up at five most mornings and usually succeed at packing anywhere between 1500 and 2500 words into the hour before the monkeys arise. Sometimes I find an hour at night, but I'm not good at writing at night. Especially if we're involved in a riveting season of something on TV. (Game of Thrones, anyone? Downton? Vampire Diaries?)
The point of this rundown is not to get you to say, "wow, look at that stuff you do." We all have lives packed full of stuff to do. The point of me showing all this stuff is to answer that question that I get asked often as more people learn that I am striving to be a writer - when do I find time? And I guess the answer - not terribly original - is that I don't. I make it. I get up early, I neglect my children sometimes, I neglect my husband a lot of the time. But this is the one thing I want more than anything else. And when I look back at all the free time I squandered in the days when I had it... All I can think about now is how much I could have accomplished! But that wasn't my time. THIS is my time, and so I will make the time I need to follow my heart and my dreams.
And the big point on droning on and on about it is this: If I can make time to pursue my dreams, then SO. CAN. YOU.
What goal have you set for yourself? How are you going about reaching it? How badly do you want it?
This week I'm going to feature an interview with another writer who has been navigating the tricky waters of time-finding, juggling family responsibilities and a writing life. I hope you'll be excited to read about uber-successful indie author Lauren Blakely, whose book Caught Up in Us is a NYT and USA Today best-seller. She's a mother and wife as well, about to release a second book, Pretending He's Mine. Stay tuned!