How I Find the Time to Write – by Holly Ash

Beyond a doubt the question I’m asked most often is “How do you find the time to write?” I usually respond with a quick “I don’t sleep,” everyone chuckles and then we all move on with our lives. I’m a firm believer that if something is important to you then you make the time to do it. It’s not about doing it all, it’s about prioritizing what’s important and focusing your time and energy on that. With all that said, I thought I’d give you a rundown of how my typical weekday looks so that, once and for all, everyone will understand how I find the time to write.

5:15 am: Alarm goes off, I hit snooze a few times and then roll out of bed. Quickly get ready, kiss my sleeping family goodbye and head out the door.

6:30 am – 3:00 pm: Work my day job as an environmental engineer at an automotive manufacturing plant. My day can easily get pushed back to 3:30 or 4 pm if anything comes up in the afternoon. I don’t normally take an actual lunch, but every once in a while, I will get away from my desk for lunch and will use that time to also do a little writing, usually the old-fashioned way with pen and paper

3:30 – 4:15 pm: This brief window between me getting home from work and having to get the kids from daycare can be used for any number of things. At least 2-3 times a week I’ll use this to try to get some writing or marketing work done. The rest of the time I use it to run errands and once in a great while I’ll take a little downtime for myself and watch some TV without interruptions.

4:15 – 4:45 pm: Daycare pick up. Spend a few minutes checking with my kids’ teachers and center director.

4:45-7:30 pm: Typical family craziness of dinner and baths and playtime.

7:30 pm: Time to put the baby to bed

8:00 – 8:30 pm: The big kid’s bedtime. I don’t usually have to get real involved with this as my husband takes on most of the bedtime routines.

8:30 – 10:30+ pm: It’s finally time to write! Time to get myself a cup of tea (or a glass of wine depending on how the day went), put on my headphones to block out the noise of bedtime arguments, and get to work. Depending on how much I had planned to get done that day and how easily the words are coming, this writing session can take anywhere from 1-3 hours. If I can get everything I need to done fairly quickly, I’ll watch a little TV with my husband before bed, but that doesn’t always happen.

10:30 pm: Bedtime! (Hopefully)

So that’s it. That’s what my typical day looks like. I will say that come Friday I’m usually too burnt out to spend any time writing in the evenings so will usually take that night off.  The weekends are another beast all together. I always think that I’ll get more writing time in, but usually it’s the opposite as my family comes first on the weekends. If I can force myself to get out of bed early, I will head to a coffee shop in the mornings to get a little writing in on the weekends, but this doesn’t seem to happen nearly as often as I would like it to.

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