Saturday, September 29, 2012

When do you find the time to write?

English: Chris Derrick at the 2009 United Stat...

Writing’s a marathon, not a sprint.

English: Chris Derrick at the 2009 United States Cross Country Championships (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Work, commutes, after-school activities, family time, TV, meals, exercise, shopping… what am I forgetting?  Oh, yeah, sleep and writing.  Doesn’t it seem like there’s never enough time for everything, especially that last?  In fact, to get the writing time in, it seems like sleep is often the only place to carve away a little time.

Finding the time for the writing job has been tough lately.  I’d hoped that one day a week, I’d get to telecommute, and I could apply some of that commuting time to writing, but it hasn’t happened yet.  I’m currently illustrating my first children’s book, Derrick the Dog, the first in my Derrick and Max series.  I’m making progress but much more slowly than I’d thought.  I’m happy with how it’s going, however.  It took a while to come up with figures that I liked, but I’m pretty pleased with them and so are the other family members (or so they say).  I’m still penciling the first drawing.  For some reason, I decided to start with the most complex drawing in the book.  It’s not even the first one.  I don’t remember what I was thinking.  Oh, well, it’s coming along nicely, so that’s all that matters.

So, here’s what I’ve been doing to try to carve a little more time out of each day. 

  • I’m trying to exercise and get to bed a little earlier, on nights when we’re not tied up with the Scouts
  • My insomnia, once so reliably granting me extra hours each day, has kind of trailed off.  I’m still trying to make it a point to get up about 5, though, giving me about an hour before I need to start getting ready for work.
  • Try to already have a plan for what I’m going to do when I start to work, so I’m not wasting time figuring out what I'm going to do that day.
  • Try to remember that my job is to write, and sometimes illustrate, books.  Which means I need to write shorter blog posts.  Like this one.  So I can get back to writing and illustrating books.

And that’s about all I’ve come up with.  It’s slow but steady progress.  Except for software crashes (which recently happened and I lost an hour’s worth of *#*$& work), once it’s down, I’m that much farther along on the path.  So, fellow writers and illustrators, how do you find (or make) the time to write?

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