Finding Time to Write

JodieGriffinSubtitle: Writing While Working a Full Time Job

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trying to carve out a set time in my day for writing, but often the time I have doesn’t jibe with the time I’m most creative — or awake enough to string two decent sentences together.  Work life and home life have had some adjustments in schedule, so I’ve been trying out something new.

Used to be I could take an hour every day for lunch, and I used that hour to write. I’d haul my personal netbook down to the office cafeteria, pick a relatively quiet area, and write.  (Side note, Forbidden Fantasies was written nearly exclusively during my lunch hour!)

Lately, though, I’ve got conference calls back to back nearly all day almost every day, so I got out of the habit of bringing my netbook. No more. It’s coming with me every day.  If I get an unexpected break, I’m prepared to step away from my desk and make words. Sometimes I can’t take a whole hour, but even 30 minutes where I can look at my writing helps – in more ways than one. Keeps the story in my mind AND gives me a mental break from my day job.

After family stuff is done, which is usually around 9pm, I do what I can – write, do promo, blog posts, whatever.  I’m trying very hard for a minimum of 1K a night. I don’t always make it, but I do try.  And occasionally, I even shut down Twitter to do it. (Sometimes, I *have* to shut down Twitter to do it!)

And I’m also working later in the day to keep up with customers on the west coast, so I’ve been starting a bit later in the morning.  I’ve been getting up, making sure my teen gets out the door to school, and then I’m opening my document and doing edits of the things I’ve written the day/night before.  It’s a surprisingly effective use of time; by the time I get that break at lunch, where I’ve left off is clean and ready for me to move on.

I’d love to hear how everyone else juggles their schedules. Not just authors, but bloggers / reviewers too. You all do a lot of reading and writing; when/how do you fit it in? And readers — how do you make time to read? Do you look for one big chunk of time, or do you read in….spurts?

Matzoh and Mistletoe

Leave a comment and you could win an ePub/PDF copy of Matzoh and Mistletoe, my BDSM erotic romance holiday novella coming November 21st from Carina Press. I’ll choose two commenters at random to win. I’ll do the drawing on Wednesday, October 16th after 8pm ET.


Finding Time to Write — 19 Comments

  1. Before my dd started driving, I’d read while waiting to pick her up from activities. Having my eReader with me significantly decreases irritation when appointments are running late. But the bulk of my reading is done on the elliptical. It’s the best motivation I’ve found to exercise!

    • I’m impressed, Samantha! I can’t read while moving (except in a car)…I’m not nearly coordinated enough for that! And ereaders definitely help — I have a kindle app on my phone so I always have something to read!

  2. So impressed that you wrote that entire book during your lunch. It’s amazing how much you can do with the consistent use of limited time.

    I’m impressed with Samantha, too. I’ve tried reading while on a treadmill and found it difficult.

    • Reese, I was bound and determined to Get. It. Done. I need to remember that drive and get back into the groove there. Not possible every day, but by bringing it WITH me every day, I won’t have missed opportunities, you know?

      And LOL, yes. I’d fall off the damn thing if I tried to read and walk.

  3. Lately I don’t seem to be getting much of anything done lol. In the past I’ve been my most productive in the afternoon or evening. I am absolutely crap in the morning. Everyone stays away from me until at least eleven 😉

    And I think I get most of my reading done between 10 and midnight!

    • It took me a long time to get the hang of morning stuff, but editing seems to work. I’m solidly a “middle of the day” person…not great early or late. Although — I do find when I’m exhausted? I write some really emo stuff! :)

  4. It’s been a struggle recently to juggle work, blogging and technical issues with posting but I’m determined to get back on track :)

    I usually work on my blog – Caribbean Accent Book Reviews, at nights after work.

    That means not much sleep, especially with books on the tbr list but I grew up with a love of reading, and this is what keeps me going.

  5. I’m a SAHM with a toddler, so I write when she’s napping or after she’s gone to bed. Sometimes if she’s in the mood to play by herself I can get some admin-type stuff done, like blog posts and whatnot. It was a big adjustment, and not easy, but it’s working out now. I’m finally finding time to read again, too, usually for about an hour before I go to bed.

    • Oooh, yes! Toddlers are hard on writing time. I started writing when mine was about 3, and yeah. Not much there. The good news is, it’s golden for several years. Now that mine is a teen, you’d think it’d be easier still, but she’s up later and there’s always TV — always — and we’re in a small house. I live for 10pm.

  6. I didn’t realise how interesting it would be to learn how other people fit reading time (and/or writing time!) into their daily lives!
    Currently I am unemployed, so I have pretty much all the time in the world to read (sadly, not all the money in the world to buy ALL THE BOOKS). When I used to work I read all the time I wasn’t at work or sleeping – while brushing my teeth in the morning, eating my breakfast, on the train & bus to work, in my lunch break, train & bus home, waiting at the train station, brushing me teeth in the evening, before falling asleep … 😀
    Having read your stories I realise this is one of the luxuries of living alone and not having kids!

    • LOL! You sound very addicted to reading! :) I’m sort of like that when I can’t be writing or I’m not working…best thing about having an e-reader. Waiting at the doctor’s office? Read. Stuck in line at the grocery store? Read. 😉

      I hope you find work soon…I know how hard that is these days!

    • LOL, Liz. I’m not adhering to one…yet. I’m trying, though!! And hey, we all have different outside influences…dayjobs, stay at home with kids, keeping up with other obligations. Time is at a premium for just about everyone!

  7. You and I are living parallel lives. My day job has changed a lot and those changes are sapping my energy. I figure if I can maintain some semblance of routine I’ll make it through and find a new normal eventually. At least, I hope I do. At the moment, I’m happy if I can get 500-1000 words per day 5 out of 7 days per week. I’m also trying to juggle my releases, promos, etc.

    More than anything, I’m struggling with managing my own expectations for productivity. My day job has become increasingly stressful and will continue to escalate through a project launch next year. I’m trying to make a conscientious effort to relax, cut myself some slack, and let go of my Wonder Woman aspirations. I’m just hoping I get to keep the magic lasso. 😉

    • We really are! I got home today at 7pm. That’s not really conducive to writing, but I *did* take a lunch break today (and a sanity break!) and got about 400 words, so that’s good.

      If you figure out how to make it all work, let me know!

  8. I once went to a conference where Karen Robards said she wrote most of her first book on her lunch hour, in one of the cubicles in the ladies washroom. Her co-workers thought she had some kind of intestinal problem.

    Seriously, I’m really impressed with writers like you, Jodie and Maggie, who work full-time and still manage to get so much writing done. I know it can’t be easy. Cheers to you!

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