What I find with working a full-time gig and having two young kids and a wife is that my free time has dwindled significantly. As a result, it’s very difficult to make good progress on a given writing project.
I know that everybody and their brother has advice about how to make time to write. Here’s what I’ve done in the past and continue to do now, and it seems to be getting words on the page.
- I write often during my lunch break. I can squeeze in 30 to 45 minutes of writing during lunch. That adds up to hours at the end of the week.
- I write very early in the morning. I often get up early – four or five o’clock in the morning – and write before I get ready for work. My mind isn’t clouded up from the stresses of the day and no one else is awake. I don’t have to change any diapers, make any meals, or do any other normal chores. Also early in the morning is an eerie time for me and puts me in the mood to write scary stuff.
- I also utilize my drive to and from work for hash out story ideas. I have a thirty minute commute and during that time I use it to formulate stories in my head. That’s an hour a day of just thinking about what I’m going to write. That can add up to five hours a week.
- I write on the weekends. I don’t take weekends off. Even if it’s only a page or two, I write something.
- If I’m too tired to write I stop and go to bed. If I take some time to rest I’ll get more accomplished in the same amount of time once I wake up. Other times some caffeine is all I need to keep going that extra hour or so.
Scheduling writing time in this fashion doesn’t negatively impact my job, my wife and kids, or my own time. Since I’m working around all those schedules it works. I don’t always get a lot of sleep, but at least I’m getting something done.
This works for me; your mileage may vary.