Friday, May 27, 2011

When Do You Find Time to Write?

Okay, so it's no shock to you that I'm nosy. Do I occasionally ask intrusive questions? Yes. Do I often probe to find out the whole story on a juicy piece of gossip? Uh-huh.

Look, there's a reason I subscribe to UsWeekly, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, and...well, we won't get into the full subscription list...but it's not for the ads. I'm just very curious about how people live their lives. UsWeekly has two features I devour each week:
1. What's In My Bag?
2. 25 Things You Don't Know About Me.

So I have a weird fixation on knowing what Jennifer Lopez deems worthy to carry in her purse each day. I refuse to apologize.

With that in mind, I'd like to come back to a question I've asked on this blog before.

When do you find the time to write?

Have your writing hours changed over the years? Or do you keep the same schedule year in, year out? How do you fit writing in on a regular basis?

Like you, I fit my writing schedule around my personal schedule. Since I'm blessed to stay at home with our kids, I write while they are in school. Every day, the time passes too quickly. I don't write at night--I'm usually cooking, helping with homework, and shuttling back and forth from sports' practice or a game, depending on the season. I also don't write on weekends because that's our family time.

If we're going full disclosure here, I will admit to wanting more time to write, more time to social network, more time to work on my writing career--whether it's designing a new website, reading books on the writing craft, or chatting on Twitter. Like many of you, I fall into bed exhausted each night and often fantasize about two extra hours a day. But I love writing and social networking and studying and revising and the whole shebang. I can't help but want more, more, more!

So come on, spill--when do you write?

Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. I have such a weird schedule throughout the year. This time of year, I'm like you - I write while kids are in school, and I spend the rest of my time being with them, carting them to sporting practices and games, etc. There are times when I work a day job part time. During that time I write before or after, and I ask for a little sacrifice from my kiddos. Then there are times when I work full-time, and I admit, I don't get as much writing in during that b/c family and job become my priorities. Somehow, because I love it, I make the writing work no matter what my current schedule is.

  2. Funny, I'm trying so hard to get more time in. I have two little ones (5 and 2 1/2 yr old). Oh and a husband who sometimes is like a child. I right at naptime- 1 -2 hours a day. That's it. I'm frustrated because I want to write more so bad. I try to fit in a little at night, but the hubs usually wants to spend time with me.
    One day, when they are both in school I will be free.

  3. In the morning, usually. Fun post. :) I'm nosy too!

  4. After I get my chores done, I write during the day when my kids are at school. Summer it's early in the morning and at night when I'm exhausted from carting them around to the lake or wherever.

  5. I too am nosy. I don't apologize either, but I do try to pass it off as research sometimes. :)

    I write while my kids are in school and sometimes at night if I'm not too exhausted. This is usually when I'm on a "near the end high" and I wanna finish it out.

    So what does J-Lo carry in her purse?

  6. Good morning!

    Heather: You have a lot of obstacles! I understand, and my writing changes every few months too. It's good to adapt!

    Christine: Boy, can I relate. I tried to write when my kids were little--but it was so frustrating. As soon as I'd hit my groove, I'd have to fill a sippy or play Barbies. I finally just decided to wait--I'm an all or nothing type of person--until they both were in school. Now, I'm in heaven!!

    Katie: And you are an EARLY writer! I don't know how you do it!

    Laura: Your summer sounds like mine. I write and do all my writing-related stuff in the morning, and the afternoons I spend with the kids. This is our third summer of this and it's a keeper!

    Jessica: It's hard to stay away from a WIP when you're near the end! And crud, I threw out that issue. But I can tell you that Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) carries a PSP Playstation, La Mer sunscreen, dark chocolate, and Canadian money!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. I'm a morning person, with a couple hours break midday before I get back to it refreshed in the afternoon. I'm pretty set in that schedule.

    Happy Friday, Jill ...

  8. I too have little kids at home. So I try (key word being try) to get up early to write. I try for 5am but it usually is 530 or 6. My daughters wake about 7, so it's horribly frustrating when I really want to spend more time writing. (No more naptimes here). Another couple of years and they'll both be in school. Ahhhh heaven.

  9. Yes, eventually I have to get to the computer and start pecking at keys. And I do have a schedule for that. But the substance of writing happens at unpredictable moments as well. I've solved more creative impasses than I can count when I get up from the desk and take a walk drive to the grocery store. What eludes me at the desk (or recliner, as the case may be) arises when I'm doing something else. So when do I write? In this sense, pretty much all the time.

  10. I'm a stay-at-home-work-at-home mom. I operate a family childcare business in my home. I use stolen moments during the kids' free play to check blogs and do a little social networking.

    My boys are 17 and 20 and don't need constant attention, so I do the majority of my writing in the evenings after dinner. They're great about pitching in to cook and clean up so I can write.

  11. I'm nosy too. All in the name of research, of course.

    I'm lucky enough to be able to write all day and try to keep 9-5 office hours. However, I spend far too long reading blogs or having a laugh on Facebook and feel so guilty that I end up writing in the evenings.

  12. Like you, I'm a stay at home mom so my writing time is usually in the morning when the kids go off to school. (And I just realized there's only ONE week of school left, so I'm taking a hard look at what I'd like to finish next week!)

  13. I tend to write in the afternoon. I'm a stay home mom, so I have the days free when my daughter is at school. For some reason the last couple weeks I wait until she gets home and does her homework to begin my writing time. I guess it keeps me out of her hair. LOL!

  14. Joanne: I'm best in the morning too. I'd rather write at night, but the am is my only true window for writing!

    Trish: Oh, I hear you! Just when you get in the groove--you have to quit for the day. So hard! School is a wonderful thing. :)

    Olivia: Well said! I can't escape my novels (and I don't want to) either. Snippets come to me while I'm driving. A plot point will hit me while walking. Isn't it wonderful?

    Lisa J: Ooo, busy mama! Childcare in your home can be quite demanding. The kids are lucky to have you!

    Shirley: Ha! Remember, reading blogs and Facebook counts as networking. You HAVE to do it, right? :)

    Karen: Same here. We've worked out a great summer schedule. I write in the morning and spend the afternoon with the kids. They're older and don't mind lounging or playing until noon!

    Sharon: Hey, I read blogs, do critiques, or update my sites right after school. Unless my kids need help with homework, they're on their own!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  15. During quiet time. Or at night.

    Social network mainly in the morning. Second half of the day for writing.

    I have lots of tissues in my purse. My nose runs constantly. I thought you'd like to know this about me. You feel better now, don't you?
    ~ Wendy

  16. You always have the most interesting pictures on your blog!

    I write nearly every day, fitting it in between homeschooling and bookkeeping.

  17. My dedicated crank-out-word-count time is the kids' afternoon naptime. This usually works, but my son usurps the plan once or twice a week. If my hubby's feeling generous, sometimes I'll let him watch the kids on Saturday morning and hide away for a few hours.

    Blog writing is usually in the evenings in front of the TV. I can multitask on that one, but not on my manuscript.

  18. I'm an Empty Nester who has the house to myself during the day. That's when I do most of my writing, although if I'm swept away in a story, I write after dinner when my early riser hubby has crashed.

  19. I try to write when my grandson is sleeping. That works on Tues., but I can't blog again until Friday so that has to be my priority in the morning that day. Right now, that's all of the time I have and I still struggle. I admire you for doing so much.

  20. Short answer: whenever I can.

    Long(er) answer: usually at night. I work 8-5, five days a week. I get most of my writing done on the weekends, though throughout the week, I try and squeeze in as much as I can, too, though 90% of the time I'd rather snuggle on the couch with hubby and my daughter and watch Hogan's Heroes!

  21. I'm nosy too!

    I wrote a lot during the day when I didn't work and was home with the kids. Now, I write when I can. Usually at night.

    Have a great weekend, Jill!

  22. Before I married my husband, I worked full-time at a government office. Now I work part-time, so on most days, I'll write from 11AM till about 5PM. I'm sure when we have children some day, my schedule will change!

  23. I'd love to have a writing schedule, but I don't. With one kiddo in school, one not quite there yet, and one on the way, I don't have any spare moments in my day that the kids aren't around unless they're in bed at night. So, I typically fit in thirty minutes here or there when it makes sense but otherwise, I get a majority of my writing done in the evenings when it's quiet and the kids are finally asleep. It just means I stay up later than I should sometimes :)

  24. Wendy: What else is in your purse?? :) Yeah, quiet time is a good time to write. Our house is not very quiet. :(

    Erica: I know--isn't that picture a hoot! You squeeze writing in well. You're always prolific!

    Sarah: Uggh. Naptime. It's so iffy. At least it was here. I'm glad you have a husband who gets it!

    Keli: I love to write in a quiet house. After your hubby crashes sounds ideal!

    Nancy: Taking care of little ones is so demanding. I cram in everything and then some while the kids are in school!

    Melissa: And after a long day at work, you just need to veg out. Weekends sounds just right. :)

    Loree: Fit it in. I know. With summer vacation starting, I have to be on top of things too!

    Brandi: Don't those six hours just fly? Mine do! It sounds like all the time in the world, too. I'm glad you have a part-time job so you can pursue your full-time dream!

    Cindy: I hear you! Kids underfoot make life exciting--and hard to write. I'm amazed at how many books you write even with the kids at home!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  25. I do most of my writing every second Friday when I have a day off of work. It isn't enough, but it is all the time I have right now.

  26. 5:30 am most days, but I also sneak in mini sessions whenever I can. I'm a slow writer - so I need all the time I can get.

  27. My schedule molds around my family. But if things are ideal, I like to write in the mornings. Love the picture!

  28. Jill, that photo is hilarious! We've chatted about this before, but I'm also fortunate enough to stay home with my kids. 90% of my writing happens while they're at school. Summer break will be here soon, but I'll still write for a little bit each day. Although then it'll be to the tune of Spongebob and Xbox in the background :D


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