I’ve been writing stories for most of my life. When I was a kid, it was something I did for fun. It was simply part of playtime to scribble words in my notebooks, creating characters and scenes and vivid descriptions of the adventures of my imaginary people. I began to take my writing more seriously as a teenager, learning about the craft and talking with other writers about the stories they wrote. And even with school and a few part-time jobs, I still found plenty of time to write.
After graduating high school and getting a job in the ‘real world’ as I tried to figure out in which direction to take my life, I found writing at night was the best for me. Since the hours of work often varied from morning to evening shifts, I could always guarantee time to write at night before bed. That worked best, well, until my eyelids grew so heavy that I’d fall asleep with my pen scribbling as my hand drifted off the paper and I wake later to read the last few words of gibberish.
Throughout all those years, I’d often heard writers complain about the difficulty of finding time to write. The complaint never made sense to me. If you wanted to write, you just did it. You made the time by working around your day job schedule.
And then I had kids.
Three of them in four years, actually.
Wow! Suddenly, I was quite aware of why so many people complained about not having time to write. Family was way more demanding than any job I’d ever had. And taking care of babies, toddlers and my husband while having a day job… Well, by the time I had the kids in bed, I was too exhausted to write. I often fell asleep before I even thought about picking up a pen.
But, the urge to write never faded. During the day, I thought about it all the time! At night, I’d dream about my stories in between feedings for the baby. Characters were still growing in my imagination, waiting impatiently for me to write down their stories. And I had to write. I needed to write. It’s been a part of my life since I was a kid. I couldn’t stop just because I was tired and extremely busy with my life.
So I had to re-evaluate how to find time to write.
My conclusion: I had to become flexible when it came to thinking about time for writing. Instead of setting aside an hour or two to completely lose myself uninterrupted with my muse, I had to find other ways to grab time. So I started writing for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. I took my notebook with me everywhere (which I did anyway!), so if I had a few minutes of down time I could add a few lines to my manuscript. On my lunch breaks at work. While my children’s attention was diverted at play. While I was waiting for supper to cook in the oven. Waiting in the doctor’s office. Even waiting in line at the grocery store. A few minutes here, a few minutes there. Wherever and whenever I could.
I wasn’t writing as quickly as I used to, but the pages were still adding up. And as my children grew, my writing time grew a little more, too. My oldest son wakes at 6am every day. Seriously, this kid has been on the same time schedule since the day he was born! Every morning for the last 7 years, I’ve been waking up at 6am. And I must add here, that I’m not a morning person! I never ever, ever was. But, since I couldn’t convince my son that sleeping in was the cool thing to do, I started taking advantage of his early bird tendencies. My other two children like to sleep a little later and my husband could sleep until noon if no one woke him, so I decided that I could become a morning writer.
Now, I have an entire hour to write in the morning! Sometimes shorter if my 3 year-old wakes early. Sometimes longer if it’s a weekend and I don’t have to worry about getting my boys ready for school. During the day, I still try to steal a few minutes for my writing before lunch or if I can convince my daughter to take an afternoon nap (yeah, that’s not often!). And I might get about a half-hour to write at night if my husband doesn’t have any TV watching to do. We must to watch The Walking Dead! And then afterward we need therapy, so we watch The Talking Dead. It helps us cope.
I admit, I used to take time for granted. I’d go for months without writing a thing because I didn’t have time. But, what did I accomplish? Nothing. I’ve learned to use every minute to my advantage now that I’ve come to realize how valuable finding time to write can be.
So, if you’re looking to find time to write, I want you to know that it can be done. It might not be easy or even ideal. I still prefer to write for hour time slots, but sometimes I might only get 5 minutes at a time some days. You need to look at your schedule and find the areas where you might be able to squeeze in those precious writing minutes. It’s just a matter of determination, stubbornness and the desire to get those words written.
The Witch’s Thief
To save her sister’s life, Julia Grey seeks a spell hidden somewhere within Merriweather Manor. Her position as a lady’s companion affords her the freedom to search the house. But time is running out. The necromancer she’s bargained with is growing impatient. And an unexpected appearance of a man from her past makes matters worse in an already complicated situation.
Basil Merriweather returns to England after ten years abroad to discover his childhood sweetheart living in his home. But, he’s no longer the carefree man of his youth and she’s hiding something–deadly secrets Basil vows to uncover even as he hides a dark secret of his own.
While neither Basil nor Julia will trust in the other, their hearts speak a truer language. In a grand attempt to save Julia’s sister and Basil’s life, the two must finally confess sinister truths. Will their admissions help or hinder any future they may have together? Or will the necromancer destroy all in a vile attempt at revenge.
“What are you doing?”
He ignored her frantic questioning. Instead, he blocked out the sound of her voice and raised his arms into the air at his sides, his fingers splayed out as he extended his senses to scan the area. His power eased out, like extensions of his fingertips, stretching into the corners of the room, seeking, searching for the source of the magic he sensed.
It was here…somewhere.
He had sensed it earlier on his arrival, but being that his aunt and siblings practiced magic on a regular basis he’d never given it a second thought.
This room, however, stank with it. He smelled the odor, something strangely like sulfur…
“A spell has been cast in this room,” he muttered. A strange spell. Odd. A spell he’d never sensed before, something new. It felt off is some way he couldn’t explain. Who would be working new magic of this kind in his home? And, in this room in particular. Aunt Petunia worked her spells in the privacy of her rooms upstairs, or sometimes in the gardens, but never in this room. And his siblings each, practiced in their own private settings, places where they could concentrate without the threat of being disturbed. A fairly difficult task with the number of people normally in residence at Merriweather Manor.
He took a step closer to the center of the room where he sensed a surge of power. He shivered as coldness seeped into his skin. It wrapped around his arm, sinking into his flesh, right down to the bone. This was not right.
The magic in his house was always full of warmth and gentleness. Goodness and love. This magic chilled him to the bone. His heart skipped a beat. There was fear, terror, pain. This spell was full of darkness.
About the Author:
Tricia Schneider worked for 12 years as a bookseller and Assistant Manager at a Waldenbooks in Pennsylvania. Since the store closed, she’s focused on raising her 3 children and writing paranormal and gothic romance full-time.
She writes about the Merriweather Witches, a paranormal romance series set in Regency England. The Witch’s Thief is her newest release. The Witch’s Kiss is due to be released at the end of the year.
Readers can also find her haunting:
To purchase her books: