You can see from this series of posts that “free time” is something of which I have very little. I tend to gloss over the minutia of my non-writing life, but the you get the gist: work and family require a lot of my time.
But that’s not really the most important take away, in my opinion. Rather than focusing on how much I’m not writing, let’s take a peek at how much I actually have been writing:
- Day 1: 904
- Day 2: 1453
- Day 3: 217
- Day 4: 0
- Day 5: 1,243
- Day 6: 1,118
- Day 7: 0
- Day 8: 0
- Day 9: 925
- Day 10: 446
- Day 11: 0
- Day 12: 417
Grand Total: 6,723
That averages out at around 560 words per day. While that’s below the quota of around 900 I originally set, it’s much better than nothing. It’s slow going, but at this rate I’ll finish in a matter of weeks; not months, not years.
This is how writers like me, with full-time jobs and a family, actually finish books. It’s not a magic formula. It’s simply making the time when you have it. Taking advantage of opportunities.
The kids are asleep and you have an hour to yourself? Write.
You have an hour for lunch? Once or twice a week, write.
Planning on watching a movie at home with your spouse? Ask for a half-hour (or an hour) of closed-door time. Sit down and write, then watch the movie.
You can see all kinds of opportunity when you approach writing this way. Something is better than nothing, even if that something is crap. You can’t edit a blank page, so you’re better off having at least something to work from.
I know it’s hard to focus and “get in the zone” when you have twenty minutes here and there. But it is what it is. I’d love to be able to write a book in three months, but it usually takes me nine months. I ask myself, in nine months would I rather have a book or a pile of excuses? I always opt for a book.
Since 2011 I’ve released at least one book per year. Usually I have some smaller stuff too here and there, stuff I fit in where I can. It’s pretty much all been written this way. If it works for me, then it’s possible that it can work for you.
So get those words written! It really does add up.