I am the proud mother of four small kids, and they take up a whole lot of my time. All of my time, actually, between the hours of seven a.m. and 8 p.m. So how do I write and yet raise a healthy, balanced family (because even my husband needs some raising)?
It is all about time. You ABSOLUTELY have to manage your time. Make every single moment count and don't waste a single second on useless stuff like . . . watching television. Or playing bejeweled. Or (cringe) Solitaire (guilty). Or, dare I say, Facebook and Twitter.
Here are a few totally random time-saving tips:
1. Learn to chop vegetables like a pro. I am not kidding! Do you know how fast I can make a salad now that I can chop a carrot in less than 30 seconds? A bell pepper in 60 seconds? When I can whip up a healthy meal in minutes, I have time to spare for other things.
2. Be organized! Everything should have a place, and never put something down! Put it away. (Or be like me and follow your kids from room to room picking up their toys--or make them do it.)
3. Make your kids accountable for their own messes--especially their bedrooms. In my house? NO TV until kids are dressed (the older ones do it by themselves), bedrooms are spotless, and beds are made. If they clean up after themselves, that makes a lot less for me to do.
4. Have a set bedtime for your kids and enforce it every single day. As soon as all kids are in bed, focus on writing.
5. Every evening put a load or two of laundry in to wash/dry so that it is ready to fold first thing in the morning. Do this every day!
And then, when the kids are in bed, it just so happens that the house is more-or-less clean, the laundry is folded and (if I'm really on the ball) put away, the husband is happily watching television, and you are free to do whatever you want (which is write novels in my case).
Now, tell me what you do to make writing possible (even if you don't have kids because you're all probably just as busy as me).