For me, for a long time my writing was my hobby, and as such I would get through everything else first, promising myself writing time later, as some kind of reward. However, it’s far too easy for that time to never arrive. It was only when I dedicated myself to finishing Come Back to Me at the end of 2007 that I really made the strides forward that I needed to then pursue publication. Now I do try to schedule time to write, but it’s not always easy. I have an active nine-month-old little girl, all the general aspects of life to keep going, and my husband would quite like some attention sometimes too, I think. But with the help of two wonderful childminders, at present I have more structured time to put into writing while I have another book under contract. Although I used to write at all hours of the day, I now really look forward to this dedicated time. I usually have lots of scribbled notes to work through by the time each session comes around, as when I’m busy on other things I still make sure to make notes that I can refer back to later.
As with many other writers, it may well be necessary for me to continue my day job of editing to make a living. Then I will not only have to remind myself to make time for my writing, but to work hard to make sure that time actually happens. When the task at hand seems enormous, I also remind myself to just make a start, and that if I keep doing that every day, one day I’ll reach the finish line! And, if I don’t find the time I need, I may have to look hard at the things I am making time for. I once heard a popular fiction writer in England talking about how if you just turned off EastEnders, a prime-time soap opera that runs for half an hour four nights a week, and used the time to write, in six months you would have a book. It’s worth thinking about.