Finding writing time seems damn near impossible with a full time job and kids. There’s always some errand or duty to keep you from your passion. If you could set aside a month to work solely on your own writing, would you get somewhere? Well, here’s how to get your month. It seems simplistic, but read to the end. It’ll be worth it.
Write during your commute. Remember to bring a notebook or laptop (and beware of old biddies on the bus/train who complain about how loud you type). Commute time = approximately 30 minutes twice a day.
Have an iron-clad bedtime for the kids. Give yourself an hour to wind down, wash dishes, or whatever else you need to do, then write for up to 2 hours after that. (Of course, some trickster children will make every excuse to get out of bed, and you might be seriously exhausted from your day. Red Bull?) Post-bedtime writing = 2 hours.
Keep a notebook by your bed and one in the car for those fleeting ideas that come to you after the kid gets up in the middle of the night for the umpteenth time, or you’re waiting at the pediatrician’s office. Those ideas often disappear a few moments later so keep those little notebooks handy. Sometimes I’ve used index cards. Odd writing moments = 1-10 minutes a few times a week.
Writing on the weekend can be difficult when you have a lot going on, but if your spouse is at home, you can carve out some office hours while they take care of things. Weekend office hours = 4 hours.
It seems deceptively easy, and it is… deceptive, I mean. Some days you won’t have 2 minutes let alone 2 hours to dedicate to writing anything but a grocery list. But don’t despair. As you stick to regular writing times, your mind will get trained to write at those times, and the writing will become easier and more importantly, it will add up.
A daily 1 hour commute + post-bedtime writing + weekend office hours (even if you only manage to get in 12 weeks of work out of the 52 per year) = 228 writing hours. That’s 32.5 business days… over one full month of just being a writer.
Now I bet you could really get somewhere with that.