The question I probably hear most often as a writer is "When do you have time to write?" This question is usually prompted by the fact that I am a very busy mom of five kids. Up until a few years ago, I would stay up late after my kids went to bed and write. Before that, when they were all very small, I'd get up in the middle of the night, work a few hours, and go back to bed. Lately, however, I've discovered that I can no longer get up at night, nor stay up late. By the time the last child finally crawls into bed, I am too exhausted to do much of anything. Is that's normal for a 40+ mommy. At least I hope so.
I have tried getting up earlier than my kids, another technique that used to be easy for me. Not anymore. That snooze button is just way to convenient.
So, when do I have time to write? I don't.
Fortunately, during all those years when I actually had spare time and energy, I managed to crank out nine complete manuscripts. During the past year, I've spent what time I do have revising and editing those manuscripts. I just finished the final revision for my novel coming out next spring with Tanglewood Press. Now I'm revising another book, which I intend to start submitting to publishers by summer's end.
While the work of revising a manuscript is indeed work, it does not require the same level of focus as the initial writing process. Writing a first draft, for me, requires large blocks of time every day, absolute silence, no disruptions of any kind, and intense mental exertion. Right now in my life, I just don't have any of that.
But I can revise a page or two while sitting in my car waiting to pick my kids up from school, watching, my son's swim lessons, or watching a little TV with my husband at night. I carry my manuscript and a pen everywhere I go: to the dentist office, to church activities, to the park. I make all my notes on paper, then spend a little time here and there making those corrections on the computer.
I am hoping that down the road a little, maybe when my youngest is old enough to go to pre-school, I'll have time to write again. Until then, between revisions and my kids, I've plenty to keep me busy.