Here are some things that have worked for me and for others:
- Getting up early. Really early. Disgusting early.
- Wait until everyone is in bed. Someone I know just sold a book she wrote between 10 and 2. At NIGHT. This would not be possible for me.
- Change your work hours. I used to work 6 to 2:30. That was perfect. Oh well. That manager got laid off and the new one was not nearly so understanding.
- Find 15 minutes to write. Can't swing that? Then 10, or 5. You can always find something.
- Write on your lunch hour and eat while working.
- Write during meetings. Long swathes of meetings are boring. Brainstorm instead. Bonus: you will look really engaged, because people think you are taking notes! Caveat: best to have really bad handwriting.
- Write at work. I'm not advocating this, just saying some people do. Elmore Leonard used to keep a notebook in a drawer and slam the drawer closed when anyone came into the office.
- Write on weekends, like Phil Margolin. He worked full time as a defense lawyer (not something you can slack off on). He made a deal with his wife: he would write 7-11 on Saturdays and Sundays while she watched the kids.
- Give up something. TV. Pleasure reading. Probably best not to cut out something all together, but to be more thoughtful of how you spend your time.
- Enlist your family. They can help cook, clean, etc. You can read out loud to your child while they color or work on homework.
- For mothers of babies: it is possible to breastfeed and write if you are really, really desperate. Use a Boppy and lean forward to reach the keyboard.
- For older kids: I have a good cookie recipe on my Web site. Or get a tube of sugar cookie dough. Let your kid cut them out with a variety of cutters. Then let them paint the finished cookies with icing paint. There will be a big mess, but you will still have net writing time.
- Write regularly every day. Just one page a day and you’ll have a book at the end of the year.
- Turn off your internal editor. Give yourself permission to write badly. You can always edit something that’s bad. You can’t edit nothing.Tenacity is as important as talent.
What are your tips?