When Do You Write?

Comments: 7

For all my faithful readers, I thought I'd ask you the question, when do you find time to write?

I struggle to find just 15 minutes a few times a week to write. I do it during my lunch breaks, between critquing others' writings from my critique group. My wife keeps asking me, "How long is this book going to take to write? It seems you've been working on it forever." To which I laugh. I'd love to work on it in the evenings, but there's always the ever-present honey-dos waiting for me when I get home. So, the other day, she actually told me she thought I should work on it before I go to bed every evening. That was four days ago and I haven't been able to squeeze it in yet.

So, what's your schedule?
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About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Wednesday, August 08, 2007

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  1. Paul, come visit my blog and click on my link to Kanani Fong's 'Easy Writer' blog. A group of us writers are discussing this very issue in her most recent posting!

    I write every possible chance I can get. The way I've managed to make the time is by cutting out things like t.v., shopping for clothes, and ironing...

  2. I write after my kids are down, usually between nine and midnight. Sometimes I'm up until 2, depending on what all I have to get done.

    Like Mary, I let certain things go, too . . . like ironing (what's that?) and my house isn't as clean as I'd like it, but there's no mold growing anywhere and I consider that a good thing. :)

    I believe we can find ways to work in things that are important to us. It can be tricky, but it can be done.

  3. i try to write at night after work. the problem is i am so tired that i can't focus well enough to write anything coherent. i hope things change soon.

  4. A watershed subject that many of us struggle with. Like exercising, saving for the future, eating healthy, it's just a lot easier to keep doing what we have to do than to make a change. Easier to sleep in for half an hour rather than walk, buy a new pair of shoes instead of save that $60 (it's only $60, after all, right?), eat that doughnut instead of fixing a bowl of quick oats.

    The first thing that has to change is the attitude. You have to decide to pay yourself first. Before you start those all-important honey-do's, allow yourself half an hour of quality time to write. Time before you're so worn out you don't feel like doing it. My best time is the morning. I'm a morning person. Trouble is, it's not always possible to squeeze in time there, but I do what I can. Weekends are easiest.

    You won't always be able to, that's a given. But I find that the times I do allow myself the luxury of the seemingly forbidden fruit of working on something relevant to my writing, I feel better about the rest of the time I have to do those other things.

    But just like when I quit smoking 16 years ago, I have had to convince my brain that I am a person who can only spend small amounts of time, as a rule, writing my stories, and that's better than not writing them at all.

  5. I think the question is the writers angst. When do we write? Whenever and where ever we can. If I'm on top of things I always have a notebook with me to write in. If I don't...I read...LOL
    I try to write when my children aren't home, because they are a distraction big time. Have fun on your vacation!

  6. Gaynell,

    Thanks for your comments. I don't usually have a notebook and most of the great ideas I get are forgotten by the time I get to one. Oh, well.

    I too carry a good novel around with me. I figure that's part of writing, to read, read, read, and write, write, write, the do it all over again. If a person doesn't read prolifically, he won't write worth a darned.