I'm sitting here, because I finally have some down time. I work. I write. I have a social life. And sometimes, if I have a minute or two I pop on crimespace and check out what people are talking about. And it seems some of you are on here a lot.

And you have blogs.

And books to write.

In the past week I finished the first draft of my second novel, read through the first pass pages of my first novel, read someone's manuscript to help them out, worked a job, and went out on a few dates with my girlfriend. I've barely had a chance to blog, nevermind hang out on here to check out the discussion.

But I'd like to. (In fact, until today when I promised myself some down time, the only reason I'd been on here is to accept a few friends and because Jim Winter asked me to see one of his posts.)

So my question is, for those of you who do all the things that I've just listed and yet, still come on here all the time. How do you find time to write?

Yikes. I think my brain would melt from all the stress.

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I chain my children in the basement and ignore them for weeks.

No, really. They're the reason my submission volume isn't what some of the other members' is, and I post to my blog every month or so. I keep referring back to what someone called "writing between the cracks." That's pretty much what I do - five minutes here, ten minutes there. That's how I do everything. It stinks sometimes but it's better than nothing.
I write my novels on the commuter train going to and from my day job. Most of the time it's pretty quiet there, except for the cell phone calls coming through to the other riders. I get in at least 1 1/2 hours writing each work day. My only problem is catching up where I left off. I like to read some of the last stuff I wrote so I can get back into the flow and that slows things down and takes up valuable time.

At home, for relaxation, I do my promo stuff - visit websites, blogs, myspace, crimespace (a new addition), Amazon, Google,YouTube.

Morgan Mandel
Your problem? A social life. Dump the girlfriend.
Karen says this to all the good-looking young guys.
What worked for me was rescheduling my morning routine so I could roll out of bed, put on the coffee, and sit down to work on the novel for at least an hour. Found out I liked that early morning "dreamspace" Robert Olen Butler talks about in his book on fiction, From Where You Dream.
I write whenever I can fit in time, but I also waste a lot of time. Like today when I should be working on the end of my novel, but I'm: On Crimespace, reading e-mail and lists, watching a baseball game and a golf tornement and just generally procrastinating.
That Big Finish is lurking in your subconscious, growing fuzz and tentacles, even while you watch sports. Is Tiger playing?
Ritalin and frozen enchiladas.
The enchiladas are for the offspring.

Sometimes I even defrost them.

If they've behaved themselves and played quietly while in the freezer.
God, I'd love to give you my 16 point plan for creating time, but I'm one third of the way through writing my forth novel, and it's due July first. Gotta' run! Chow!
I find I work best at work. As long as I am on the computer and in my office, people assume I am working. And I am, just not on that nasty work stuff. I am partially kidding here but not totally. For what they pay me....
The newspaper publishing company I work for has an annual training retreat for all its editorial employees. Last year, I was speaking on how to be more productive, time managment, etc.

One kid, a fairly young reporter, asked where I find the time to work, write fiction, etc.

I agree with everyone it comes to priorities. What's important, what's not? Can you drop the reruns of That 70's Show? Can you eliminate one night a week pissing away $30 of beer with your buddies? Can you get up one hour earlier to work?

To me, the boards such as this place, are part of the larger picture of my "fiction career." I think they'll pay off in the long run.


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