Sometimes it’s easier to just say that you’ll write that novel when you have the time.
What I learned really quickly was that there’s never enough time. So, like you have to do with just about everything you consider important, you’ve got to get your priorities in order. That means that if writing is a priority for you – and I’ve found that it’s almost a necessity for me, to keep me more or less human – you’ve got to make time for it.
When I was in college, I found myself able to write 4000-8000 words a night with minimal effort. These days, 2000-3000 is really good for me. I can do more during NaNoWriMo write-ins sometimes, but it’s not that common. And when I’m really busy, I let myself get by on 500-1000 words, if I’m working on something at all. While I can feel lazy and slackerish during those kinds of days, I tell myself it’s much better to get 500 words down than none.
At those times that I have a project simmering, other things get brushed aside. I’ve never been much of a TV person, but I give up even the NCIS marathons on USA and the Big Bang Theory reruns around dinnertime if I can add a few hundred words to my project. I fell in love with watching DVD sets of series, so now that I’m not tied to my DVR, that frees me up to watch series at my own pace. Which means that when I have a project, I can set the TV aside for awhile. I watch fewer movies. I drink more carbonated things. I sometimes get less braindead or relaxation time. I say that because even though writing charges me in a way that conventional work doesn’t, it’s still work, and sometimes I do need to tell myself to stop writing – to stop pushing myself beyond my healthy limits – and read something or watch something or go out. I also get a little less sleep as I try to reach my quota for the day.
And oh yeah, writing groups are good, because you’re sure as hell not going to get much of your usual socializing done. You’ll be writing more on the weekends.
This year, I have three novel projects I plan to complete: my fairy tale remix novel this spring, my nightmare novel rewrite next fall, and my NaNo novel. That means I’m going to be pretty busy, all the way through the apocalypse. But I’ve really missed novel writing, and I am having a good time. So for me, giving up a little sleep, losing a little time, it’s completely worth it to do something that I enjoy and that helps me be more of a human being the rest of the time. Even if the world ends on Dec. 21, it was still worth it (I think).
You’ll never have enough time. You have to make enough time.