Finding the time to write has always been an issue I have wrestled with. Until that heady day when I can earn a living purely as an author, the day job takes up a huge amount of my time; time that I would rather spend writing the next James Pace or Ian Flyn thriller. Family is very important to me - I also need us to spent quality time together. When you throw in sleeping time, there isn't a great deal left and finding dedicated time to write is difficult.
For me, the only way I have ever found to actually write is to use early mornings or holidays. During the summer months, I can get up early and sit in the garden at my laptop for a couple of hours on Saturday amd Sunday, before everyone else is up. Sometimes, I can even cram in an hour before work! During the dark, cold of winter, this is impossible so I default to holidays.
Years ago, I tried writing my stories on an 'as and when' basis, believing that I would find enough windows of writing time over the course of a year, for example. In reality, I found that it meant I was forever re-reading what I had already written and spending more time reviewing/catching up than producing the next few pages. For me, this just did not work.
What works for me is to write in an intense, sustained burst of a couple of weeks; in a holiday period. In these weeks, I get up early and write for at least five hours each day. I build up a head of steam and find it easier to keep all the plots and sub-plots humming along and on track.
More importantly, I also enjoy writing this way and the concentrated creativity ensures that I retain my enthusiasm for the characters and their situation, despite the muscular aches and grumbles of spending long periods of time at the keyboard. I can have a whole new book written (draft version) in a few weeks which then allows me a more leisurely period of editing.
One day, I hope, my holidays will actually become far more relaxing but, until then, they are my writing windows.
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