Time to Write

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by Darcy Pattison

When I first started writing, I had four children at home, and I was home-schooling several of them. I walked around with an ink pen stuck in my jeans’ pocket to remind myself that I needed to find fifteen minutes to write. In fact, I ruined one pair of jeans when the ink ran and made a huge black stain!

Now that I only have one left at home, you would think that it would be easier to find time to write. And it is.

Except.

I spend lots of time preparing to teach, teaching, sending out information about novel revision retreats, doing follow-up information, scheduling, travel plans, school visits, brochures for schools, attending conventions & conferences, updating blogs and websites, writing a bio, getting promo pics, talking to editors, talking to librarians, buying paper & ink, and so on and so on. In fact, some weeks, it can talk up to half my time for these related tasks.

This is normal.

In their book, Art and Fear, Art & Fear Bayles and Orland suggest that getting your art out to the public takes a large amount of time, and if you only spend fifty percent of the time doing that, you may be doing pretty good.

This means you must protect your writing time! Set up business hours and writing hours. During writing hours, don’t answer the phone, don’t check email. Write. During business hours, do all that other stuff.

What percentage of your time is spent on the business of getting your writing out to the public?

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