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Finding the Time

Every writer's experience is different. We all have different backgrounds, styles, work habits, preferred genres and so on. But there is one thing all writers have in common, if not constantly then at least once in their career--it's a struggle finding the time to actually write.

There's nothing worse than having the itch to hash out a good story you've been thinking about, only to not have the time to sit down and get it done. Life can be an inconvenient thing. There are big things that absolutely need your attention like your job, school, family, bills and health issues. Then there are millions of minor things that aren't as important but still have to get done, like errands, shopping, laundry, cleaning the house, drinking enough water, and more. Then there are times when you go through a classic fit of "I just don't feel creative right now" that make you want to keel over on the couch and watch Netflix.

I get it. Life can be a chore, in every sense of the word. So you put off writing the book for a week or two, just to get your affairs in order. That turns into a month, which snowballs into a whole semester. Before you know it a year has gone by and you realize all the drama you pledged to resolve just isn't going away, because that's life. And that's normal. There's always going to be things that happen, and as the old saying goes, it's getting back up after you get knocked down that counts.

So what's a writer to do? The solutions are as varied as the genres that are written, but there is one tidbit I've found that works for me. I have recently committed to setting a goal and holding to it like iron. My goal is to write two thousand words every day. This summer, I managed to finish the rough draft of a new middle grade book, the kind I've been dreaming about for years but just couldn't put into words. I decided come hell or high water I was going to hash out two thousand words a day and BAM, I got the whole first draft finished in just over a month! I still have a trillion edits to do, but that's another story.

To be fair, I'm a paraprofessional and I've been on summer break, so I've had a little more time than most to actually sit and work. But going into the school year, I'm going to make sure my two thousand words stay non-negotiable. I might have to get up earlier or stay up later, or squeeze time in my lunch break, but dag nabbit I'm going to make it happen. I've got hundreds of ideas for books and short stories, and I'm not getting any younger.

So, my suggestion to you is to commit to writing a certain word count every day. Pick something that you're comfortable with that also makes you feel like you're making real progress. If that's two thousand, great! If that's only a thousand or five hundred or one hundred, don't sweat it. Remember, you don't have to explain your journey to anyone. If you're not a writer, commit to a little bit of whatever you love every day, and results will happen. The important thing is that you work at it like Dory--just keep swimming!


If you need something to read in between your own adventures, I've got some new publications!

  • My short story The Gospel According to Julie has been released in The Fifth Di... June 2021, and I'm humbled that they made it the featured story of the issue! You can grab a copy HERE!

  • I've placed a haiku with the Australian webzine Creatrix issue 53! Check it out HERE!

  • My poem with Prune Juice issue 34 is out! You can read it HERE!

  • The print version of Scifaikuest May 2021 is out (a while ago but better late than never haha). You can grab a copy HERE!

  • I have more poetry released with Star*Line! You can read my latest sci-fi tanka HERE in issue 44.3, and I have another coming out later in issue 44.4.

  • Lastly, my novelette The Spark has experienced unexpected delays in the printing house. Apparently somehow there were too many blank pages in the document the publisher sent to the printer and it had to be tweaked. Oops! I have been assured that it will be available for ordering shortly, and I will tell you as soon as that happens. I appreciate your patience as all the ducks are put into a row. In the meantime, you can look HERE to learn more!

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day. Good luck, stay safe, and whatever your passion is, get busy!

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