I think the one question that’s asked more often than any other question when I do any kind of event is “How can you write, work full time and have a family?”
Work, writing and wrangling. You might ask what possessed me to think of the word wrangling. Well, I’m in cowboy mode because I’ll be doing a new continuity series with Harlequin that’s set in Texas! Very exciting since I’ve never done a story in that part of the country, although in the past two years, I’ve been to Houston and Dallas (twice!). I’m book 4 in the series and right now I’m in the midst of developing the story around the elements that tie all the other stories together. I’ll let you know more about that soon.
Getting back to the wrangling, the more I thought about what I used to say — that it took juggling — I realized that juggling wasn’t quite the right word. Juggling meant that I had individual items that I could just toss up and away for a few seconds until I had to handle the next one and that was never the case.
Work, writing and family were always intertwined and sometimes always requiring things at the same exact time. That meant it did take wrangling to get something tied up and under control so that I could get to the others. Since family was always a priority, that meant figuring out a way to lasso either writing or work.
My solution was to use what some considered down time and to create more time for myself. Instead of resting or reading on the commute to and from the office, I wrote. NJ Transit probably deserves an acknowledgement for all the words I managed to put into a story on one of their train rides. As for creating time, I made a point to get up earlier on the weekends. No more sleeping in until 8 or 9. On a usual weekend, I’m up by six and busy writing. Same for vacations. Actually, I’ll write tons of hours on some vacations!
So, that’s how I do it. It’s what works for me, but maybe not what will work for you. Everyone works differently and it may take a little trial and error, but eventually you’ll find what works best for you!
Also — don’t forget that the November Mystery and Magic Contest is still running! Get your entries in soon!