Liars Club

How Do You Find Time To Write?

by Merry Jones on November 10, 2010

in Advice for Writers,Liars Club Philly,The Writing Life,The Writing Process

Burning Question: How do you find time to write?

What a silly question.  Finding time to write isn’t a problem—It’s simple.  All you have to do is follow these four easy steps:

1.)  Quit your full time job.  This will free up eight hours each day for writing, not counting commuting time.

2.)  Eliminate non-essential domestic tasks.  Put aside time-guzzlers like doing dishes and laundry, cooking, eating with your family, vacuuming, going to the supermarket, getting the oil changed on your car, raking leaves/mowing the law/shoveling snow, getting dressed, fixing your hair, walking the dog, making love to your spouse.  Do not allow the mounds of dirty clothes, the stacks of junk mail or the fervent caresses of your partner to interfere with your concentration.

3.)  Instruct the children to be still.  No loud games, television, or music in any form.  No noisy friends coming over.  Explain that you have a book to write, and you simply can’t drive them to choir practice.  Or attend parent/teacher conferences, school plays, soccer games, swim meets or recitals.  Or accompany them to haircuts or orthodontic appointments.  In fact, tell them that they are not under any circumstances to interrupt your writing, even if Lucy gets a finger caught in the car door or a naughty friend sets fire to the tablecloth.  This rule may sound harsh, but believe me: if you enable these interruptions, soon they’ll be bothering you every time they want to eat a meal or share a goodnight kiss.  And you’ll NEVER get any writing time.

4.)  Discontinue all non-domestic activities that distract you from your writing.  Don’t let your writing get interrupted by the jabbering company of friends or family—Granny, Mom and your real pals will understand that you’re not to be disturbed; you’re an auteur.  Your writing must come first.  So, cancel dinners out with other couples, walks/jogs with friends, opera subscriptions, volunteer work at the soup kitchen.  Postpone doctors’ appointments.  Avoid PTA meetings, yoga classes, community/church/political obligations.  In short, hibernate.  Isolate.  Separate.  The only people you can afford to spend time with are those in your novel.

See?  Finding time to write is no big deal; it’s just a matter of defining your priorities.  If you follow these four simple rules, you’ll get your work done in no time.  So what if you’ll have no one to show it to?

Merry Jones is the author of eleven books, including the Zoe Hayes mystery series (THE NANNY MURDERS, THE RIVER KILLINGS, THE DEADLY NEIGHBORS, THE BORROWED AND BLUE MURDERS), the humor book I LOVE HIM, BUT, and the non-fiction book BIRTHMOTHERS: Women who’ve relinquished babies for adoption tell their stories.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Nandini November 10, 2010 at 10:53 am

You fantastic liar you … 🙂

Aimee Walker November 10, 2010 at 11:21 am

Can I just say that was awesome in its hilarity? Why yes, yes I can say that.

Merry Morse November 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

So, now I know exactly what I need to do so I can finish that memoir.

Baille November 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm

I think, this time, I can tell that you’re kidding. 😉

Peter Crowell November 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Suddenly my 30 minutes on the train to work and my 30 minutes on the train home, assuming I can get a seat, seems like all the time I need to make this novel happen.


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