There are so many people that I meet every day, who, having heard that I’ve finished a novel look at me sorrowfully. “I wish I could do that,” they say to me, “but between work, housework and kids, I don’t know where my day goes.” My heart goes out to them. Writing is harder work than non-writers understand, and it’s pretty tough to balance the demands of everyday life with our need to write.
So, I spoke to various working writers, many of whom are also parents and have full-time jobs, on how they fit writing into their lives. These were the top 3 pieces of advice.
Assign a specific time: This was possibly the most resounding advice from everyone I spoke with. Allocate a time within your week during which all you will do is write. If you can pocket only one slot per week for a few hours, make sure that during this time you don’t email, check Twitter, answer the telephone, or tend to others. Write! It’s true that initially the words might come slowly, or not be as delightful as you had wished, but as you write, your writing will grow stronger.
Allocate a place: Find a place within your home or elsewhere, that will be your designated writing space. Whether it’s your dining table while your kids are at school, or a favorite café on the other side of town, it matters not. What is important is that you go there at the assigned time and write.
Meet other writers: Meeting and connecting with other writers will give you a kind of support and self-belief that is hard to replicate. Writers often work in isolation, and communicating and connecting with others who share their passion helps renew their much-needed creative energy.
How do YOU manage your writing life? Please share here in the comments.