Sometimes when I tell people that I’m a writer the response varies, but often people ask, “Where do you find the time?”

And I always laugh a little. As a mother of three I don’t find any time. My time is gone long before it ever arrives. I steal time.

It’s never easy and I think I’ll always wish I could steal more time for writing, but I have a few guidelines and tricks that help me.

1. I don’t watch TV. Really. Zero.
2. I limit my blog time. 15 minutes a day. Some days I skip. I love blogs and I want people to love mine, but the blogs are really a secondary tool. It’s nice to express my thoughts and have a social network, but the blogs won’t write my book for me, nor get it published.
3. If Kids 1 and 2 are in school and Kid 3 is napping I WRITE. Only life threatening situations interrupt that time. The laundry and dishes are not life threatening, (contrary to popular belief.)
4. My awesome husband will often do clean-up and bedtime, so I can go straight to writing.
5. Earplugs.
6. Have family laundry folding parties
7. If no one helps with the laundry, don’t fold it. Just throw it in the drawers. Wrinkly clothes never killed anyone.
8. Be picky. Because I really do want to be a writer, I don’t have many other hobbies. This is my hobby. I love friends and gatherings, but I’m picky about what I choose to attend or get involved in. No need to be reclusive, but maybe a little elusive.

In the end, writing is not my first priority. My family comes first. Sometimes that means I have to put my writing on the back burner. Sometimes I get irritable when I can’t write, but the most important thing is that we never give up. NEVER! We just keep doing what we love.

What are your tricks? I can always use more.


8 comments

  1. I get up an hour before everyone else. That’s the theory at least. But that gives me time to at least get something done every day. And I get so much more done than I thought I would doing that.

  2. I love your list, Liesl, especially #7. That’s my battle cry: “Wrinkly clothes never killed anyone!” And I totally get #8 – if you want to write, you do have to be picky about the other stuff you get involved in.

    • ali

    • September 23, 2010

    • 4:55 pm

    Ha! I love that “being a little elusive”!! THAT is awesome. I’m totally using that one 😉

  3. I try to do about the same thing, though I have more time to write. I just limit what other things I do. Anything else is stealing time away from my writing and family. So yeah… loved this post!

    • Lindsay

    • September 28, 2010

    • 2:43 am

    Wow. As a newly married person (who just married another fiction writer!) I lie awake so many nights wondering how my life as a writermom will go. My own mom is nothing like me, and isn’t particularly supportive of my writing. She thinks wrinkly clothes will kill you. It was so wonderful to hear from someone more like me. Thank you!

    • Liesl

    • September 28, 2010

    • 3:05 am

    Lindsay, I’d say the state of most inanimate objects really don’t matter, so you know…wrinkle, wrinkle. Just worry about the living things, (I guess that includes your mother!:) But good luck to you and your husband. How fun that you can do it together!

    • Perri

    • September 30, 2010

    • 2:52 pm

    This is an awesome list! I am also a mother of three. I work full time and help run our farm, but writing is essential to me. My husband and I bargain for time on the weekends (“I’ll give you Saturday if you give me 5 hours on Sunday” type stuff)

    I think having limited time helps me get it done. The writing swarms around like water behind a dam all week and then, when I finally have a chance, it flows pretty easily.

    Love that laundry thing! I’ll have to try that.

    • Liesl

    • October 1, 2010

    • 3:43 am

    Wow. Perri, I bow down to you. 3 kids, work full time, and run a farm? I am not worthy!!

    I do agree, that limited time helps, because we just don’t have time for procrastination or writer’s block. When the time is before you, the magic must appear.

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