Writer Jeff Abbott raises some good points here about making time to write. Apparently, he wrote the first novel he got published between the hours of four and seven in the morning, which makes even this early bird cringe. There's "early bird" and then there's "the sun won't be up for three hours," you know?

But the point is not lost--if you want to be a published writer, you will find time to write. Hell, you will make time to write. Einstein doesn't have anything on the aspiring novelist as far as the space-time continuum goes. I am a practicing attorney, for a company that makes products you have totally bought, even if you haven't heard of us (but you've probably heard of us). Currently I bill between 200 and 250 hours a month at that job. I also teach LSAT prep 2 or 3 nights a week for The Princeton Review. And I have friends. And I date. And I walk my dog. And I go to the gym three times a week (or I try to).

And I make time to write almost every day.

Now, I'm not one of those people who has to write at a certain time every day, like Stephen King describes in his book On Writing, but I do write 5 or 6 days a week for at least a half hour, often more. Longer on the weekends. A lot of the time this means things that I don't think are important (like vacuuming) don't get done as often as they should. And that my backyard is a wilderness (I do the front so that my neighbors don't string me up). And my garage looks like a tornado hit it. I have been late for work because I got caught up in the writing and lost track of the time. I have chosen not to go out with friends in order to write. I have left parties in order to write. And none of this was a sacrifice. (Don't get me wrong--they were fun parties. Just not as fun as what can sometimes happen in my head.)

As Abbott says, the key to finding time to write is to making it a priority. If you're not a published author, there are always more "useful" things you could be doing. Right now, for example, I could be cleaning my laundry room, which could really use it. Or I could be volunteering at a soup kitchen. Or I could be sewing the button on my coat that fell off weeks ago. But I'm about to go do some revision of The Book, because it's almost my Writing Time for the day, and during Writing Time there is no such thing as a soup kitchen or a button. There is only me and my computer and the world inside my head.

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