If you work a day job, when do you find time to write a novel?


Old Folks at home

The other day a client saw one of my books on a table at my office and asked, “You have time to write books?”

She wasn’t being accusatory, just inquisitive.

I understood where she was coming from.

My translation of her question would go like this: You’re old and dried up. You still practice law.  You write blogs all the time. You always have a project or two on the front burner.  So when is it that you have an extra six months or so to write your next novel?

The answer is simple.

I have to write books because that’s the fun part of the whole gig. When I do it depends on what events I have to wire around. 

For me, the best time to write is after the sun goes down, after the chores at home are done, after the rest of the world has gone to sleep.

I have tried to structure my writing so that I do it the first thing in the morning when the day is fresh.

I just don’t feel the novel writing vibe before the sun comes up. I can churn out blogs, respond to comments, etc., but I can’t plunge deeply enough into the world of my make believe characters to do any serious writing.

Once I get to my office, the office I inhabit ten to twelve hours every day, I can’t concentrate on writing because I feel duty-bound to attend to the affairs of my profession.

So the answer to my client’s question is:  I write in the middle of the night.

The point of the blog is that most of us who work day jobs don’t have neat little patches of time when we can say, “Don’t disturb me.  I’m a writer, you know.”

Rather, we cram our writing into the little crevices of life. We drink coffee if need be to stay awake a couple of extra hours, we rise at four before the baby wakes, we think about the next scene in the book while we commute and scratch it on a slip of paper in the car before we forget it.

That’s the way writers have always done it.

Why should we be any different just because we have word processors and the Internet?

But you guys sitting at home in your underwear, if you can’t find time to write, maybe you need to go back to work.

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