If you’ve been reading my writing updates, you’ll know that I’m not a full-time writer. I have another day profession that pays the bills. Whilst I enjoy it very much (I work in secondary education) I would, of course, love for my books to earn enough money to keep a roof over my head and keep my family and I fed and watered.

Making time for writing in addition to having a day job and family life is not easy. For me, it requires snatching moments in the day to write when I can. I can’t wait for inspiration to strike, or even for when I’m in the mood to write: I need to have enough discipline to seize the chance to write, whenever that may be. Here are a few ways I manage to get some writing done.

At home/ time off from day job:

1. Since I do a 16:8 fast in the morning, I can squeeze in some writing time during or after breakfast. This involves praying to the computer gods that my laptop doesn’t need software updates, then typing like the wind.

2. Another option is to bring the laptop to the sofa and type while maintaining an educational and stimulating conversation with my literary little one. This involves learning how to divide my brain in half so that I can be mindful of my hubby and child in the room, while still not becoming distracted from my writing. The goal here is that I must not lose the literary thread.

3. Option three is to make a full pot of strong coffee and type into the wee small hours after the bookworm babe is in bed, whilst using matches to prop open my eyelids.

Out and about:

4. This involves remembering to bring the tablet and wireless keyboard in the backpack (light-weight and less expensive than the laptop, if damaged). I then grab a moment to write while in the park, on the beach, in a cafe, or anywhere really. Even if it’s just a line. Sometimes this means yelping when wasps come near then channeling the fear and adrenaline into character development.

At work:

5. I squeeze in what I can during breaks, or lunch time, or after work for 15 minutes when colleagues have gone home. If a colleague happens to be near and in a talkative mood, I keep typing while politely letting them know that they aren’t interrupting me and that, yes, I can do both: talk and type. Must write, write, write.

Finally:

6. On a daily basis, I repeat the mantra: Must write today, even if it’s just a line.

Before you know it, voila. A finished draft. Job done. Now, onto the next task!

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her writing centres around protagonists who are on a journey of self-discovery and who explore their identity by overcoming adversity. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing ezine, with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from literary pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of construction vehicle books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/17e6ca162ff3/leilanie-stewart-author

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