Like most people, I find it difficult to do the things I would like to do instead of being at my job forty hours per week. One of those of things is working on my novels.
Ever since I began working at my current job last year, it has been hard for me to squeeze in time to do my writing. When I wrote The Dark Proposal, I was unemployed and had no problem spending a few hours a day three or four times a week writing what would be my first published novel. A full open day allowed less stress and more of a chance to complete my book. A tall skinny vanilla latte at Starbucks or a lemonade from Panera Bread helped a lot too!
But now since my free time is much reduced, it has been a hassle to work on The Dark Proposal’s sequel. I do spend some weekends writing, which is good, and I find time in the evenings after dinner. But I have other priorities: meeting with friends and family, yoga classes, and other commitments that take away from my work. That is not to say that I am not committed to writing and finishing my sequel; I simply have a different schedule to work with.
Plenty of authors have other demands than their books, and few are able to survive as full time authors. Many have full time jobs, or they attend college or graduate school full time. Some even have spouses and/or kids to take care of. Somewhere in there, they find time to write.
I’ve talked to some authors about this issue and the advice they give is, make your writing a priority and find time to work on it. If writing is less important than work or school, then do it when you are not busy with those. But if there’s anything else that is not more important than your work in progress, set that aside and work on your novel.
It sounds easier said than done, but I’m managing it better. It is still hard for me to put on my writer’s hat and focus on my work sometimes, especially with my other priorities in life. But the important thing is that I try and I focus when I can.
In the meantime, I’ve resorted to taking notes during my lunch break or downtime at work. I’m not able to write at work, mainly because there isn’t that much free time, and plus, I wouldn’t be able to get into the zone well. I could do some writing then, though, and improve on what I put down when I get home. But that can happen with whatever free time that’s available. See? It’s all about making your writing a priority.
I do wish I had completed my sequel much sooner, but it is not realistic to wish that. Life happens and you have to make the adjustments. So in the meantime, I am working on my sequel (likely to be called Blood Ties) while finding the appropriate time to do so. Telling stories is my first love, but feeding myself is the ultimate priority.
ON A SIDE NOTE: Smashwords recently began allowing author interviews on its site, and I did mine yesterday. Basically, Smashwords provides questions that you can pick and choose which ones you’ll answer. Here is my interview! https://www.smashwords.com/interview/MeganCashman