I get asked this question a lot. A LOT.
I think it’s because I work outside the home, then I take care of my family, plus I have hobbies such as painting and cooking.
Writing requires a great deal of time and commitment to get it to come out just right. But so does painting, cooking, taking care of loved ones, and working outside the home.
It’s all about time management.
When I worked as nurse I had fifteen patients every day to care for. Bathing, feeding, administering medications, in addition to interacting with the doctors about the patient’s care, the families, the ancillary services and departments, all were required on a daily basis, and hundreds more I can’t even begin to remember. Back then, overtime was frowned upon and if you couldn’t get all your care and tasks done in your 8-hour shift, you were looked at by the powers that be to see if you needed to be retrained, demoted or fired.
Luckily, I was never any of those because from the get-go I learned how to manage my day accordingly. The most important tasks were done first. Sometimes, this changed daily, or even hourly, but I always started with the most time sensitive and important tasks. Then I went down the line to the ones that required less immediate responses.
This always worked for me and the only time I ever had overtime was when every one else did too: during Code Blue emergencies.
I write in exactly the same mindset.
If you’ve read any of my past posts, you know I’m a plotter, not a panst-er. First thing I do is come up with an idea, then the characters, then I set the plot out in a very detailed synopsis. Once that prep work is done, I start writing the story, but just like when I worked in nursing, I prepare for emergencies: in this case, plot turns and twists. Sometimes during writing I come up with a better idea or situation and I go with it.
Now, to the time I spend writing. I find time EVERY DAY and yes, I mean EVERY DAY, to write. Something. It doesn’t have to be an entire scene. On the days I still work outside my home at my paying job, I tend to write snippets of dialogue or scene descriptions. But I do it everyday, usually before I head to work for a half hour in the morning. No one else is up, I have the entire house to myself and I don’t have to worry about anything else but typing a few lines or paragraphs or pages.
At night, after dinner, dishes, prep for the next day, I write again.
On the days I don’t work outside my home, I can usually devote 6-8 hours at a clip or in divided doses to pound out what I want. Now, of course, there are those off days that I need to do other things, such a doctor appointments, hair dressers, grocery shop etc. so that cuts in to the time.
But the moral of this story is that I write everyday. Every single day. Something.
So the answer to the question of where do I find the time to write is, simply, I just do it whenever and wherever I can, every day.