As a parent with a young 2YO daughter. another child imminent and a full time job, how do I find the time to write and edit my work? I want to write all the time, especially in the morning as this is my moment of clarity during the day. Lunchtimes I am writing but the time is too short and evenings I’m a little tired, focused on spending time with my daughter and maybe writing for an hour between 8pm and 9pm.
I also like to go jogging, waking sometimes at 5:30am, getting to work at 6:45am for a run locally until 7:30am, and then doing my job throughout the day. Sounds challenging, but it’s necessary to keep those energy levels up. Jogging isn’t for everyone though, so perhaps there’s something else you want to make time for.
Reading is also an important part of growing as a writer, it’s critical in fact, so evenings and resting in bed, as long as I have the energy, I’ll read. If it’s a really good book, reading is easier with low energy levels, because the excitement drives you to find out what will happen next.
Overall, there’s a lot going on and fitting it all in is definitely the biggest challenge. So what’s the plan?
1. Firstly and foremost, writing must be a passion, meaning you’ll never give up even when you feel like it. The goal remains, despite time being limited. NEVER EVER give up. Write when you can, even when the window of opportunity is very small.
2. Make the time – Generally for me it’s a choice between jogging (my best thinking time) and writing (practical). If I am jogging, I am not writing (feeling guilty), if I am writing, I am not jogging (feeling unfit). try to balance out. sometimes we all need a break from writing to look back at the work with fresh eyes, so stepping away for a while is healthy to make progress.
3. Write down in the public domain somewhere your commitment where someone will see it, and guilt trip yourself into sticking with your plan. Sounds negative, but it’s there to make you swallow your words, reflecting on what you wrote and do what you said you’d do.
4. Treat inspiration like an energy bar (not a health food energy bar, a videogame energy bar). We all feel drained of inspiration sometimes. Take those all important short term sabbaticals (one day, two days) and get in the mindset of telling yourself ‘You’re going to conquer this chapter when you get back to it.’ You will find you have grown as a writer and will see your own work from a new perspective (evolving is constant and will keep happening so long as you are relaxing and reading books when taking a break).
Finally, there will be sacrifice, but that’s part of learning to be patient and excelling in what you do. Once you get to the end of that rainbow and finish your book, despite whether it is a success or not, you will have reached your goal.
There are lots of resources online about parenting and writing, just take a look.