Let's be honest with each other. We all have busy lives. Very busy lives. So just how are we, as independent writers, supposed to make time for our hobby/trade?
My average week begins with forty hours at my regular day job. That leaves mornings, evenings and weekends for writing. I do have some chores that need to be done on a weekly basis, so that eats up another seven to ten hours per week. Family obligations take up some time. My grandkids can't drive yet (okay, the first one is more than ten years from driving still). So Grammy and I run to see them, along with their parents, or the kids bring them to us.
I try and keep my television viewings to a minimum, but that doesn't always work out as planned. During the fall, when not hunting or working, I love to watch football. College or pro is fine with me. I'm just plain old addicted to it. Add to that my Walking Dead addiction, plus I need to keep up with Kevin Bacon on The Following, and I'm still using up another four hours plus a week relaxing.
Let's say I like to sleep. Or, better stated, I need at least six hours a night. Saturday and Sunday afternoons are perfect to catch a nap for an hour or two. That eats up another 50 hours a week with my eyes closed.
I drive to work each day. Maybe an hour total if I'm lucky. That's 5 hours. Of course this winter that trip one-way sometimes took almost two hours. But let's stuck with 5 hours for that, and an hour or so each day to eat and chat with my wife. Let's combine those two categories and call it 15 hours total.
If we do some simple math, we will quickly see that at most I have 40 extra hours a week to devote to writing. And that's if nothing else comes up. Subtract from that number to allow for unaccounted for lost time. So let's just say I have 25 to 30 hours a week to devote to this trade.
The trick, I have found, is to make the most of each one of those free hours. Whether it's actual writing, or editing, or marketing, or even reading other authors work. I have to maximize each of those free hours, sometimes minute by minute, to be even minutely constructive.
I'm fortunate because my wife and I are empty-nesters. Further, we typically don't have a lot of projects or other engagements demanding our free time. As I stated recently, I have composed five manuscripts in the past 13 months. Of those five, one is almost ready for publishing.
If I've learned anything during this creative process, it's been a lesson of patience. Don't rush your writing, don't skimp on editing, be as perfect as possible when it comes to formatting. Forcing or rushing any one of those elements will result in a less than perfect book. And I really want to produce decent, well thought out and constructed books for the public to enjoy.
So take the time you need, and be patient. Good things will come.
Until next time, keep your nose buried in a book (or start writing one of your own, remember – no experience required ... Just Do It!).