Thursday, February 27, 2014

Finding Time to Write

Today we are excited to present a guest post by author Jolene Perry!


I think I can safely say that we all struggle to find time to balance and juggle all the things we want to do in our lives...

I have two elementary age kids, a husband with a demanding job, a busy calling at church and books to write, release, and edit..

It's HARD.

I find myself sitting down to write and feeling like - I might get interrupted... I don't have much time... I think this next part of my book is going to be tricky... I shouldn't jump in because it'll take too long... 

And then I end up on Facebook for a few minutes, reading blog posts for a few minutes, answering emails for a few minutes, and... no writing gets done. What's sad is that these are all things I can do in two minute intervals, which are a lot easier to find than real writing time.

What I've started to do is to set a timer.

Here's how it helps me:

I don't watch the clock. That problem has been taken care of for me. I know that I can totally immerse myself and that timer will tell me when I can/should/need to stand up and do something else.

I don't jump out of my MS to check emails/Facebook/twitter during the timer countdown. I don't answer my phone unless it's something I NEED to answer, and I never have my internet alerts on, so that's not a bother. If you like alerts, I'd turn them off for this ;-)

Normally I set my timer for 30 minutes. When my kids are home, I get them started on a show, or a game, or a snack and then I set my phone up where they can see it and set the timer. NO ONE IS ALLOWED to bother mom unless the timer is done, or they're bleeding ;-) Of course this only works b/c my kids are elementary age.

I tune out of everything but my book. My writing. I don't stop to research, just stop to make notes about things I might want to check later. The purpose is to GET WORDS DOWN.

When my kiddos aren't home, I generally find myself writing for ten extra minutes or so after my timer goes off. Then I get up. Step away. I think about what I want to write next, and then I do dishes or laundry or sweep or pay bills or make a few phone calls for church stuff... Anything to get me AWAY from my computer. Or anything I can do where I can still keep my mind on my characters without being at my computer.

Honestly, it's rare that I can do much more than 3-4 timed writing bits in a day because my brain turns to mush - especially when I'm totally immersed.

Of COURSE this would be different if I had an infant and a two year old. At the same time - it's amazing how much I can get done in 30 minutes when I use the whole 30, and even 30 minutes once a day when/if you have someone to help with little ones, is enough to write a novel. 10 minutes a day is enough - as long as you keep doing it.

Anything work for you to help get words down amidst the chaos of life??
I'm always looking for new ideas ;-)

~ Jolene

Jolene is the author of the newly released THE SUMMER I FOUND YOU (and isn't the cover GORGEOUS?).

All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction.

Kate had the perfect boyfriend - until he dumped her. It couldn't have come at a worse time: ever since she found out she has diabetes, she's been trying to cope. She just wants to feel normal again.
Aidan planned on being a lifer in the Army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's the guy with one arm and nothing is the same as it was before. He wishes he could forget.
When Kate and Aidan meet, things couldn't be more awkward. Neither wants to get attached, and they both could use some fun. But what if they need each other more than they realize?



YA author of Out of Play 
The Summer I Found You (March 1, 2014
Stronger Than You Know (September 1, 2014)
Love Blind (2015)



  2. I love this plan, Jolene! I've never thought of a timer, but it's brilliant, especially with critiquing and housework and VT. I'm going to try that this week and see how it goes! Oh, and I cannot wait to get my hands on that book! It looks adorable!

  3. I swear I get SO MUCH MORE WRITING DONE b/c that one simple thing allows me to not think about anything else.



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