Finding time to write


Rhiann Wynn-Nolet suggested to me that a solution to my bouts of disillusionment about the growing pile of agent rejections (other than to write something else, which I’m doing) was to join the group of bloggers that do the Thursday’s Children blog hop.

It’s based around that old children’s poem:

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Thursday’s Children: we have far to go. For the record, I was born on a Sunday—Easter Sunday, in fact—although I don’t feel particularly bonny or gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and I’m only occasionally good!

Anyway, the theory is that we’re meant to blog about something inspirational on a Thursday. One Thursday, every Thursday, random Thursdays: it’s up to the individual blogger.

Here goes my first attempt at writing a post about inspiration.

Writing: if I can do it, you can do it.

I’m a single mum to a preschooler. I am trying to sell my house, so we need to maintain a display home level of tidiness, and I work thirty hours a week. All of that means not a hell of a lot of spare time.

But I set myself the goal of writing a minimum of a thousand words a week on my WIP, and (except for the week I was really sick) I have done that for the last year or so. Before that, when I was writing my first novel and was a bit more timid, my goal was five hundred words a week, but I usually wrote a thousand anyway.

I don’t always reach my goal in one sitting. I’m usually in bed by 9.30. But five hundred words, twice a week. That’s doable.

I know there are people in worse boats than me. People who work two or three jobs: the same situation but 60 hours a week or more. I’m blessed in many ways. I work with words in my day job, so I keep my grammar skills honed, and sometimes they send me on editing courses. And I get paid reasonably well for those thirty hours (although not that well; like I said, I am trying to sell my house).

But I thought I didn’t have time to write. Then I discovered that if I gave up computer games—especially those addictive Facebook-based time-wasters—and watched less TV, I had time to read and write again. At a thousand words a week, I won’t be breaking any land speed records. I heard about one amazing lady on Facebook who recently wrote an ENTIRE NOVEL in four days. She averaged twelve-to-fifteen thousand words a day. I’m in awe of her, believe me (she must cane NaNoWriMo!). But I can average a novel and a bit a year, and that’s not bad.

So. Whenever anyone tells me they have this great idea for a novel but they can’t find the time to write, I want to shake them till their teeth rattle. Because if I can, you can. Maybe that’s less inspirational than it is a goad to your ego, but hey: whatever works! Write the damned book. 😉

Click here to see this week’s other Thursday’s Children blog posts.

15 Comments on “Finding time to write”

  1. sugaropal says:

    First, good luck selling your house. We just went through all that (actually it took 3 years on and off the market to get it sold) and it’s a bitch. I’m a slow and steady writer too, no NaNo for moi. And I have given up TV pretty much completely because otherwise I’d never get much done. I never did get into computer games, thank God. Now, if I could just get off Twitter and avoid Pinterest I’d probably write more…

  2. C H Griffin says:

    Great point. I get caught up in the “I don’t have time to write” excuses. It’s true. We can always find ways. I now carry a notebook everywhere I go because, lets face it, our WIP is always on our mind. So if I’m sitting in a doctors office waiting or traveling to work, I can pull it out and jot a few pages. Because every word helps. And welcome to Thursday’s Children I just started too.

    • I haven’t had time to check out the other posts yet but I want to. Fingers crossed my son will go to bed early tonight and I might have time. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  3. kiperoo says:

    Oh, I know exactly what you mean. Everyone’s got plenty of reasons not to write. I think the key is to do what you have to do if it’s important to you. Like you said, giving up gaming, or like Rhiann said, giving up TV. I don’t game or watch much TV, but I still often have to give up sleep to have quiet time to write. It’s totally worth it!

    • Exactly – if you really want to do it, you can. Until this year I never told most of my friends I was a writer, because I hated the idea they might think I was one of those people who said they were but never did! At least now I have two manuscripts to show for it, even if they are unpublished!

  4. Veronica says:

    Figures I’d be born on a Wednesday. Sheesh.

    And re: rejection? My advice is to start a celebratory ritual of your very own, starting now. When I would get rejections from agents, I’d throw myself a little party. I know that sounds sick. Maybe it is. But now, when I get rejected on a higher level, I’m always like “well, at least I get to have this party.” And I crack open a bottle of wine and celebrate the fact that I’m finally doing what I love. (Even if I’m not doing it as well as I want to be. Yet.)

    • I used to cope just fine with rejection. It’s only now that there are less people to reject me that I’m getting twitchy about it! I love the idea of a celebration though. 😀

  5. : ) Very true! There’s always a way to find time for the things we love.

  6. LOL, I agree. I felt the same way when I saw your post title in the Linky List. “Is this going to be ANOTHER post about how someone doesn’t have the time to write????”

    But yeah, if you want to do it, do it. If you have the free time, pump it out. If you don’t, then you’ll have to write it in stages, bits and pieces. But it can still be done. No excuses!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. christineallenriley says:

    Every little bit is more than you had before and gets you closer to your goal. You’re doing great! I hope your house sells soon so that’s one less stress for you!

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