For the next couple weeks, I’m giving serious answers to the questions in my humorous post The Top 10 Things People Say to Writers, and How You Should Respond. So when you’re tired of being snarky this will help you give some constructive–and helpful–answers to your non-writer friends and family.
On to number two!
2. When do you find the time to write?
This is a question that I personally get a lot, but I never really expected it to be a huge area of inquiry. I didn’t think people would be so interested in when I write. But, when I actually ponder it, I suppose I understand why they’re curious.
Most people I know don’t write, and so it’s not something they have to fit into their lives. Also, people who don’t write don’t have any concept of how long it takes. Of course, there’s no set amount of time–every writer is different, every writer writes at their own pace, and of course, there’s tons of other things that go into writing–editing, revising, planning. How long do those things take? Again, it’s all about the writer. Not to mention most of us don’t have set schedules when it comes to our writing. Some do, and that’s great, but many of us don’t–we do the work when we can, and some days you might do a lot of writing and the next day nothing. Unless you’re working on a deadline, you can take as long as you like.
I think also, for myself, I have quite a few things published and people must think I wrote all those things in their entirety just over the past two years or so. That sounds like a lot of work!
My funny answer on the list: I will tell you a secret. After you write your first book, the head of the Great Publishers shows up at your house and gives you a potion that makes it so you never have to sleep again. That’s when we get our writing done, during the nighttime while the rest of you losers are wasting your life away sleeping.
A more constructive answer: I’ve been writing for a long time, and it’s something I’m very passionate about. I have responsibilities just like anyone–I work, I pay bills, I have to take care of my home, run errands, and life doesn’t stop for me because I like to write. I find the time to do it, here and there, and it doesn’t take as long as you think, mainly because I have been doing it for a long time. I know what I’m doing and I know how to do it fast, so I can grab some time when it pops up. Also, all those books I have published weren’t just written directly before they were published–some of them took years to write and are only just now being discovered. A lot of my ‘free time’ goes to writing, but I love it, so it doesn’t feel like work.
How would you answer this question?