Finding Golden Writing Time

Most writers squeeze their writing in between jobs and/or family. Writing time is precious and rare. But a funny thing happened when I suddenly gained more writing time: I didn’t know what to do with myself.

My daughter started preschool this month, and that gives me about 6 hours a week extra to write. More importantly, it is CONCENTRATED writing time—no distractions from child, phone, or Internet (I work at the local library while she’s in school).

On her first day of school, I had planned what I would work on for the 2 hours I had that morning. Thing is, I had forgotten how much you can get done when there are no distractions—I finished my project in half an hour. So I moved on to another project. Then another. I actually ended up playing Solitaire for the last 5 minutes because I had run out of things that “needed” to be done!

These weeks of her in school have let me be a great deal more prolific in a shorter amount of time. I’m now able to work on short stories in addition to my novels and weekly blog obligations. And once I get home, I still have Toddler’s nap time (when she takes one) and after she’s in bed to work even more.

At first I felt like I needed to keep cramming in writing tasks in the nap and bed time slots. But I found that trying to use ALL my free time for writing was counter-productive. I ended up getting burnt out on the writing. So I did something totally radical. I started using the evenings to do OTHER THINGS I ENJOY! For instance, reading or genealogy or conversing with real people in my life.

I’ll admit I felt guilty at first, having fun during what had been dedicated writing time. I don’t feel guilty any more. Having that fun time has allowed me to focus better when I have the writing time in the morning, and it has left me more energetic and mentally sharp.

I still use nap time for “business” stuff – queries, social media, and, of course, more writing if I feel like it. I also will use the evenings to write if I want to, but I don’t force it if I’m not feeling creative. Overall, I am quite happy with the new writing setup. Am I a bad mommy that I am already looking forward to all-day kindergarten in 2 years? 🙂

Where have you found your golden writing time?


  1. I have’t had much golden time, I find sometimes that I have more time on work days. Because on days off I go to visit Mike doctor, writer group etc. It’s important that I spend time with my family. This way I’m refreshed when I turn to writing.
    Barbara of the Balloons

    • Spending time with people outside our own heads, and especially our family, is so important to our well-being. Making time for that makes our writing time more fulfilling, I think.

  2. I always wrote during my kids naps, or early in the morning before they got up. And in the evening I never wrote –that was my time. Sounds like you’re finding a good balance — even writers need to play Angry Birds now and then!!

    • I have never played Angry Birds – but I find it so easy to fall down the genealogy rabbit-hole. Unfortunately, Toddler has been boycotting naps this week, so my hard-fought balance may already be coming undone! 🙂

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