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Workshop: Finding Time To Write

Finding Time To Write When You Have No Time
Hosts: Author Pamela Samuels Young and Ella Curry
Week 3, Feb. 8-11, 2009

Are you a writer or published author? How do you make time to write? Share with us ways to become more productive. If you are an author who works full time, how do you balance writing, work and family?

With the demands of work, family, church and community activities, you may think your goal of becoming a published author is a pipe dream. Well, you're wrong. I know from experience, that no matter how busy you are, you can find time to write if that is truly your goal.

Get into the habit of waking up early to squeeze in an hour or two of writing time. Stop complaining about the two to three hours you spend at the beauty shop and take your laptop or notepad along with you to work on your book. You can also use your lunch break to revise your manuscript and you can probably write a few pages while waiting for your kids at soccer practice.

Buy an inexpensive tape recorder and instead of listening to the radio during your morning and evening commute, use the time to "talk through" your novel. With your family's support, you might even find an evening or two to run off to your local library or a nearby Starbucks for some writing time. Even if it's only an hour a week, use it.

Remember that you don't actually have to be writing to advance your novel. The next time you're in the shower or taking a neighborhood jog or walk on the treadmill, use the time to mull over the plot for your book. While you're waiting at the doctor's office or stuck in a grocery store line, do a little people-watching. Somebody is bound to resemble one of your characters. Jot down a few notes about their appearance. This is a great way to hone your character descriptions.

Try to make a commitment to write a set number of hours or pages per week. Whatever goal you set, just make sure it's realistic. Start out small and once you get into the flow of things, increase your goal. And if you fall short one week, don't beat yourself up. There's always next week. You'll have a finished novel in no time!

Pamela Samuels Young is a Los Angeles attorney and author of Murder on the Down Low and the Essence best-sellers, Every Reasonable Doubt and In Firm Pursuit. Pamela wrote her first two novels while working full-time as an attorney. Visit Pamela's website at

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