Can't seem to agree with my husband on this one...maybe you can add a different perspective. The first book/ proposal that I sent out was a non-fiction manuscript (only rejected so far), and the collection of the material was dependent upon interviews and social interactions.  I am hesitant to move forward with a fiction project that has been shelved for a while because I know that it will mean I'll just have to write and write. I have really grown to love blogging because it combines the best of both worlds: a chance to write (quickly) and then interact about the topics or writing.  I don't know that I want an advertising blog, but I have a goal to bring in some income with writing by this time next year.  I have freelanced before and my heart is just not into that.  I am much more passionate about my craft and creation (cursed to a life as a starving artist- I know).

Anyway...I guess my question is:  When there is only so much time in the day to write (three kids under the age of ten and another part-time job) can a very social person find time to write effectively toward the completion of a book?

Thanks in advance for any insight or advice you have.

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Meagan, it's so funny that you started this discussion because I just added a topic to my growing list of possible blog posts: how much time should we spend networking via blogging and how much time should we spend actually WRITING.

I originally started my blog as a way to get me back into daily writing. I have an unfinished novel, an unpublished children's book, and 2 other novels written in my head. But then there's the time factor. I have 2 kids, a husband packed and ready to be deployed, a blog I'm surprisingly obsessed with, too many unread blogs on my Google reader, and a sudden urgent desire to jump into freelancing. I'm trying to find my niche, trying to figure out how I can make some money, and trying to find the time to do everything.

Sadly, I don't have an answer to your question because I'm looking for the same answer myself. I'm interested to see what everyone else comes up with because I'm trying to find that balance as well. At least we're in this together!

Heather
Hi Meagan - My answer is yes, absolutely. It will obviously take a lot of dedication, but it can be done. I wrote my first novel while working a full time job, blogging, freelancing, other business ventures, and I'm a mommy. Now did I write it in 4 months? Absolutely not! LOL. But I wrote when I could. When I felt inspired and eventually I realized I had written quite a bit. Then I decided I didn't want all that hard work to be relegated to my computer. So I finished. And it felt amazing!

Keep writing, don't worry about how long it will take you! You'll get it done! I actually blogged about this recently, check out Writing Deadlines - Is time of the essence?
Thank you Stefanie for the encouraging words. I guess I need to remind myself that it's not a race. I'm enjoying your blog and I look forward to reading more of your writing insight!

Heather
Thanks Ladies! This has been helpful. I am feeling more centered about how to spend my energy. I need to give myself permission to lock the door and dive in...as sacrificial as it may feel at times, I am excited about the idea of writing just to write. I know that if you love something enough, it is never a waste of time!
Absolutely!
Hi Meagan -

Yes - a social person can find time to write! I'm one of them! And like you, I have a part-time job. I've found that this has actually been the key to making it all work. Without the job I can't write and without the writing I'd be miserable in my job! I'm a publicist and work from home, so the job is both very social and very convenient: I spend tons of time on the phone. Working from home also means I waste no time commuting and can keep working if I need to in the afternoons if I need to while my kids are doing homework, at activities, or playing (they are 11 and 7).

My best strategy has always been to make the writing happen first thing in the morning for an hour or, on really good days, two hours -- as soon as my kids are on the school bus and before I get started with work, while my mind is still relatively quiet. Of course, that doesn't always happen, and sometimes weeks go by with no writing.

Still, I've managed to complete 3 novels over the past 12 years, the third of which, Veronica's Nap, (a mom's story), I have serialized on a blog: http://www.veronicas-nap.com. Stop by and check it out! There's a side-blog offering book-club-style conversation, an explanation about why I chose to blog my book rather than publish it conventionally and lots of conversation about the writing life and juggling it with being a mom.

I hope it can provide some food for thought or inspiration.

Good luck, and all my best,

Sharon
Yes, if you REALLY want to. There's never such a thing as the perfect time to write, you just have to make the time for it. In my case, preparing a weekly writing schedule has helped tremendously. Make a plan and stick to it, even if 30 mins, 3 times a week. The important thing is to be consistent. You'll make progress slowly but steadily. Good luck!
I am sure throughout the course of time, many social folks like you have written and actually published thier books. I am not social, and have not finished a darned thing. I really think it's about the discipline of writing and letting go of the guilt of not writing. Sounds contradictory I know.

So you have obviously decided to forge ahead and actually have a completed project under your belt. So you have already answered your own question. Even though it is a book of interviews, don't diminish it. You had a vision and you made it happen. />

Write every day - and on the days that you've missed - don't beat yourself up - keep going. I also happen to think, you do not have to be working on a specific project to feel productive. Writing your blog, is writing. It touches women, you are communicating, you are writing - it fulfills so much of what writers desire. I just wish the pay was better! - There is nothing wrong about focusing on your blog for a while.

Of course I should talk - I just posted "What the H#$L am I supposed to be Doing!"

Meagan, writing on your own requires hard work, focus and discipline. Like you I guess I like chatting too much to really focus on writing so decided to write a non fiction book with a fellow blogger. It was a huge amount of fun - she is in the UK and I'm in the US - so we batted emails back and forth. That might work for you, writing with another blogger or at least joining a critique group to get feedback.

Have fun!

Emma K

My book is called Cocktails at Naptime will make you laugh and wince in recognition! www.cocktailsatnaptime.blogspot.com

I work as a nurse as well and still find time to write but you have to really have a plan and I make a ton of lists of what to do each day. Sure you can do it if the book is something you are passionate about. Good luck. Keep us posted about your progress.

OK, so I should really keep better tabs on my unmonitored discussions!  Terri and Emma...thanks for recently responding to this discussion board.  It reminded me I started it in the first place, and I think it is probably pretty important I update you all about where I've gone since then.

My first book, (a non-fiction book called Choosing to Grow: Through Marriage) is due to be published in March.  It was picked up by TreasureLine Publishing about a month after I posted my question.  I have since spent the last six months finishing the book and preparing it for release.  I surprisingly found the time I needed to devote to getting it finished, despite the children and my job.  I was a bit shut in otherwise, and I am happy I can come back out to be a part of the conversation again.

I collected the stories for my book from small groups of women, and I am presenting my book the same way.  It is still a journey, and I may eventually be able to focus blocks of time similarly to fiction writing, but for now, I am satisfying my social needs as I interview and then present my writing ventures. 

Thanks for all of your input ladies...it is nice to know that no one's journey is exactly the same, but there is also comfort knowing I have companion travelers!!

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