Here’s a rundown of what my life is like:
College professor—I teach 5 days a week from 8AM to 5PM. Arrive home around 7PM.
Mother—one teenager left at home.
Wife—one husband waiting for me to get home—he’s retired from the mining industry.
Founder and Board Member and Secretary of the local Heritage and Arts Center
Pet owner—one Weimaraner and four cats.
Evenings during the week
1) After I get home I check to see that my son is working on his homework. If I’m lucky supper has already been decided upon or nearly ready. If not, I start on that.
2) After we eat and we’ve all talked at the table, I fill the dishwasher after the men have cleared the table.
3) If I have a meeting to attend in town for the Heritage and Arts Center then I get home a bit earlier so I can make that meeting.
4) Check on son’s homework again.
5) While husband is watching TV I begin grading papers.
6) Over the last 4 years I used to begin work on my dissertation after grading papers, but now I work on reading and written assignments for the “crisis intervention counseling” certificate I’m working on.
7) Around 11PM or midnight, after everyone has gone to bed, I begin working on the book I’m writing at the time. I work on writing my book until about 3AM.
8) I go to bed until 6:30AM.
9) I then get up and start all over.
During the weekend
1) I may have at least half a day to write or maybe most of the day. This depends on whether I have to travel in order to conduct a book signing or if I need to attend some authors function, or serve as guest speaker at some event.
2) If traveling and I’m not driving, I will take that opportunity to work on my book while my husband listens to a book on tape. If I’m driving, I have a notebook close by to jot down ideas that pop into my head. If I’m flying then the time is mine to work on my book.
3) I also review books, etc. and post those reviews on the Roddenberry website. (I’m a fast reader. I also don’t review books that are very similar to what I write.)
I feel that if you want to write bad enough you’ll find time to do so. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I do like The Closer, Psych, Monk, House, and Ice Road Truckers. I may watch those shows while grading papers or working on my own homework.
I have my own getaway spot, as you’ve already seen. (More pics too!) I hide out in there whenever I need some extra quiet time. If I’m working on a particularly difficult scene in my book then I’m locked in my writing building until that scene is written.
And to add to my schedule you see above, I also find time to include my granddaughter’s ballgames, my son’s school events, cleaning house, going to church, teaching writing classes at the local heritage and arts center, serving as helper teacher at Vacation Bible School, and tutoring nursing school students. In the fall and spring I have to change my times a bit because I also teach a psychology class one time a week at an area prison, and I’m picking up teaching a class for an area Masters in Nursing program beginning this fall.
As for how much I write—I can write up to seven books a year if I’m on a roll. I sleep little, watch TV very little, and I don’t paint the town. I make good use of my time. I am a great multitasking individual. Yes, I go to the hairdresser, get a pedicure every once in a while, and even sit outside on my swing and just enjoy the weather.
So, if you want to write but say you don’t have the time, well, then you’re probably doing something wrong. I carry out a lot of responsibilities during the week and still find the time to work on my book writing. Take a step back and review your day and then your week. Are there things you’re doing that can be switched around or delegated to someone else for them to do? It’s all about time management and letting everyone around you know you’re serious about writing.
So, that’s it. That’s how I handle writing books among everything else. And sometimes I work on two books at a time, like now. Presently, I’m working on “More Than Angels” (book 3), and “Guardians of Immortal Night” (book 10 of the Guardian series).
Good luck to all of you and happy writing.