I've never one to pass up a good pun. . . or a bad one for that matter. Sometimes they're actually pretty funny. Most of the time, I just embarrass my kids. It's what Dad's do best.
However, that isn't the subject of this blog. It's about finding time to write.
On the subject of time, my wife once made the observation that as kids, like when you are 4, it seems like it takes forever for Christmas to come. And when you are older, it seems like you just took down the decorations when it's time to put them back up again.
Well, it's simple math, really. When you're 4, a year is 1/4th of your life. When you are 40, a year is a much smaller fraction (do I really have to type 1/40th? Well, I guess I did). The point being, the older you get, the more time seems to speed by.
It took me a good five years to write The Hidden Sun. It took about four years for me to write The Waxing Moon. My goal for my third book? One year. Like anything, you get better at it. But that's not enough.
You need to make it a priority.
There are any number of things fighting for your time. Work, kids, spouse, church, sleep (what's that?) school, friends, entertainment, girlfriend or boyfriend (hopefully not if you have a spouse) and so on.
So, what do I do? Granted, this is what works for me. It may or may not work for you. After I get the original spark for an idea for a story (which is a whole other blog), I'll daydream about it. During lunch, as I'm falling asleep, while I'm taking a shower, or when my wife is talking to me (I'm kidding about the last one. . . or am I?) Quick side note: there is a great book about a father who had triplets. It's called, "I sleep at red lights". It's basically the same concept.
Before I even start to put words to paper, I'll have a general idea of the characters, the scene and what is going to happen.
As I'm writing, the characters and setting help the story come alive. Things generally follow what I thought about, but I leave enough wiggle room that things can unfold as they saw fit. It's hard to describe it more than that.
In order to let this magic happen, I go to my man cave (hence why I'm proud to be part of this blog) where I can work in the quiet without distractions. To get in the mood, I'll often listen to music before I write that helps set the tone. Example: Mont St. Michel by Mike Oldfield is great music to set the mood to write about medieval times.
This usually happens after the kids go to bed, or on a day off from work when the kids are in school. (See a trend here? Family first! It's about priorities!)
In the end, it is really finding a time when you can write and not be disturbed. Sometimes the magic isn't there when I've set time to write. Sometimes the magic is there, but I have too many hands on my time. Regardless, as with anything in life, when you make it a priority, amazing things can, and do, happen.