How do you find time to write when there is chaos all around you?


That is a good question and one plenty of authors ask themselves. Most authors I know aren’t fortunate enough to only survive off of their author earnings so they need to go out and work a day job to pay the bills. And those authors who are home full time are usually dealing with kids, bills, housework, transporting kids to and from school or sporting events. So how do we do it? How do we make time to write those delicious love scenes or the edge of your seat thrillers?

We snatch any time we can.

Authors who work outside of the home often write on their lunch or coffee breaks. Sure, it’s only an hour, or twenty minutes but those are valued minutes when a story needs to be created. Often we work on deadlines so snatching free time to write is important. For those that stay home and take care of the children, nap time is a glorious time. It is not easy to write a love scene when you have a child nagging you to play with them or get them something to eat or drink, Kinda ruins the mood. So we made do with what we have.

When my kids were little, I would sit in my chair, notebook and pencil in hand, put a movie on for the kids to watch and try to write. I was there if they needed me plus it appeared I was watching the movie with them, which for the most part I did. Amazingly enough I was able to write about demons and ghosts and love while watching Nemo swimming for his life. I wrote everything in notebooks back then because it was easier than sitting in front of a computer and being away from the kids. And if something should come up that needed my attention, I simply put the notebook down and tended to the problem. Once everything was fixed I could pick up the notebook and continue where I left off. I didn’t need to save it or worry someone might come by and turn the computer off before I could save it. I could even write while preparing meals. But it was bedtime that I truly looked forward to. That was my free time. My time to shine and I wrote like a woman possessed.

 Now I work on my laptop. I still have the benefit of sitting in the living room, interacting with the kids or hubby and work. Well, for the most part. It’s a little harder these days to concentrate on my work when the big screen TV is on and an action game is flashing, gunfire rapid. Or one of my teen age kids coming into the room needing to talk.  But I still find time, little snippets here and there and if I’m in the writing zone I simply tell the family to go away for an hour and let me work.

I’m lucky, I don’t hold down a day job, so I can write any time I want. But there is still laundry to be done, bills to pay, telephone calls to answer, meals to make, and house to clean. I’m not the type of person who can leave a messy kitchen and sit down to write. The disorganization scrambles my brain and prevents me from getting anything done. I might be a little OCD, but what’s a gal to do.

So how do you find time to write while theirs chaos going on around you? You steel any moment available and make the best of it. What else can you do.

I’m interested to hear what my fellow authors do to find time to write. I’m sure the readers are interested as well so why not leave a comment and tell us how you cope.

Shiela Stewart www.shielasbooks.ca

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16 responses to “How do you find time to write when there is chaos all around you?

  1. Great post, Shiela. I too am a stay at home mom–boys are teens now. Like you disorganization scrambles my brain. LOL, I know I’m OCD when it comes to keeping the house clean, the yard looking nice. I can’t help it and I don’t bother trying to change it. I would never get a word written otherwise.
    My fav time to write is in the morning after husband leaves for work, kids are gone to school, plus all my housework finished. I’m good to write on and off for a few hours–until I picked my boys up from school. Then the chores start all over again. Once everything is settled down for the evening–dishes washed and put away–I write for another couple hours.

    • Hi Saukura, thanks for stopping by!

      Yeah, I don’t mind my mild OCD. I hate disorganization and a messy house and yard. My hubby say’s I’m anal but so what. Is that such a bad thing? LOL

      Your day sounds pretty much like mine. We could be twins. LOL

  2. Well I don’t work and my son just in the last year left for the Army but It is still tough. I get so wraped up in my writing. I have to limit myself so I can get the everyday things done. But sometimes when the juices are flowing I just say to heck with it and keep writing. But I am with you on the clean house thing. The house has to be clean for me to relax or to write. If not it is in the back of my mind. I keep hearing that nagging voice telling me the house needs to be cleaned and I get nothing done. LOL Writers and their voices.

    Tabitha Blake

    • You are so write, Tabitha. We writers are a strange bunch with our voices but hey, it sells books. LOL

      The first thing I do when I get up is eat breakfast then clean my house. Then i sit down and check my emails and get ready to write. If there is so much as a plate or cup in the room i’m working on I can’t concentrate and i have to clean it up.LOL

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    • I forgot to ask, Tabitha. Where is your son stationed?

      My middle son just joined the Army reserves and the thought of him being shipped off somewhere in the furture scares the hell out of me. How do you do it? Or are you scared to death too?

  3. I’m with you with the disorganization. Even with my cave being in another room, it seems the laundry hamper or the kitchen sink has a PA system straight to my brain, screaming my name. Until I get it done, writing is disjointed and interrupted.

    My fave time is when the kid and the hubby are off to school and I have 6 hours to get what I can done before they get home. Bedtime as well.

    I’m lucky that my daughter is old enough to be “left alone” for a few hours to entertain herself – homework, her computer, reading, tv- and I can plug in my headphones to do some writing…but still be here in case she needs help with something or it’s time for me to cook.

    Bedtime for the hubby and kid is great because I can plug in my headphones after the dinner dishes are done, and write until I make too many typos and know it’s bed time.

    =)

    • Your cave. I like that. LOL

      It is nice to have an entire day to yourself to work isn’t it? Mine leave at 8 and come home at 3. Plenty of time for me to work but I also like to work at night when the house is dark and quiet. 🙂

      Thanks for popping in, Isobael.

  4. LOL, I know what you mean, Tabitha. If I have things to do and I’m writing, that little voice is always reminding me, nagging at me. So I have to get up and do whatever it is that needs doing. But all the while, I’m annoyed because all i want to do is write. Also, the swear words that come out of my mouth somtimes when I’m writing and the phone rings…lol. Can’t repeat them here.

    • LOL, Saukra! I bet those swear words are the same ones I use. Don’t you hate that when you’re on a roll writing and the phone rings? Most of the time it’s telemarketers to. Grrr!!!

  5. Nope. Anal isn’t a bad word. My husband and my two boys call me anal. I just shrug. I laugh because they don’t know how lucky they are. Since I’m so anal about certain things, I tend to do jobs myself.

  6. My son is at Goodfellow in San Angelo, Tx. He is currently doing his AIT (training) to be an (intelegence) interagator. I worry myself sick about him. He is safe now but it is only a matter of time before he is deployed. I am very proud of him but I hate it all the same too. I am the typical mother and worry constantly about what will happen in the future. I just try to pray a lot and put him in God’s hands. Thats all we can do. If you ever need to talk just let me know. I talk to a lot of moms that have kids in the military. It is really great to have a support system in place.
    Tabitha Blake

  7. Oh thank goodness I’m not the only one. I am proud but scared to death.

    My son will be doing a three year training session before he’ll be sent anywhere but just the thought gives me a sick feeling. I will definitely keep you in mind if I need to talk about it. Thanks so much!

  8. For me the last three snow days have been a blessing in disguise while my boys are outside in the snow I can actually write. Otherwise its after everyoen has gone to sleep and the house is finally quiet. Lovely blog… I really enjoyed it.

  9. Snow days? My kids would envy yours. We never have snow days. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by, Dominique!

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