We’ve asked 5 YA writers at different stages of their career how they fit writing time into their schedules.
What is your biggest challenge with fitting time into your schedule?
Tanvi Berwah: My biggest struggle with managing multiple things in a day would be also keeping my mental health okay. There are days when I simply am not able to work and that can be very tough especially with deadlines.
Katherine Rothschild: Every week holds a new challenge. Work often infringes, drama with my kids infringes. There’s no one challenge–but what I find that works for me when problems come up is to say: is this a life or death situation? No. Can someone else handle it? Yes. Then I leave it to my partner or I leave it to my colleagues and I write. For those who have trouble setting a regular time to write, I suggest trying to fit in small amounts of time each day.
Isaac Blum: My biggest challenge is that I’m finicky. I feel like I write best when I have a chunk of time where I can sit down with a cup of coffee and have a kind of writing “session.” But life doesn’t usually want to accommodate that.
Stacey Filak: Work, family life, and health, not necessarily in that order. Unfortunately, most authors aren’t able to write full-time, so paying the bills has to take priority. Then adding in responsibilities to our own families and kids, and my current health issues, it doesn’t always leave a lot of creative time.
Kalyn Josephson: Definitely having a day job. It can be really draining to write before and after work, extending a day of productivity to 10-12 hours. Often times when I’m on deadline for a book, I’ll take time off from work to focus on my book for a few days (like right now!) to really go through and polish everything.
How do you fit Writing time into your schedule?
Tanvi Berwah: I’m usually not an early-riser, but when I’m actively working on my writing, I tend to wake up an hour or so earlier. I don’t write in this time but I do get my day started so then by the time I’m fully awake, I have some spare time in which I can sit and write. Other than this, I also work just before I sleep and go to bed thinking of my story–and it’s amazing how much my subconscious has to offer as I sleep. Plot threads solved, characters start making sense. I love when that happens, saving me time and getting rest.
Katherine Rothschild: I have a really strict writing schedule most weeks–and that schedule is: I write every Saturday morning for at least three hours. My partner takes our kids out of the house, and if they can’t leave, I go to my writing house (a tricked out shed in the backyard). Nothing gets done if I don’t show up, so I don’t let myself mess around during those times. I work.
Isaac Blum: I try to build my life around my writing as best I can. In my day job I’m a high school teacher. I try to write after school while I’m still awake enough to do the whole words thing. My writing life is a significant reason I chose the teaching profession. I have two months off every year.
Stacey Filak: I tend to write in fits and starts, so I’ll write a lot in a short time, and then set it aside to focus on family or work or whatever comes up, for a while. Then, inspiration will strike again and I’ll hammer out a bunch of words in a few days/weeks, then reenter the drought.
Kalyn Josephson: Pre-pandemic, I’d come straight home and write for an hour, so I was still in the “work” mindset after my day job and continuing to produce felt more possible. I’d also plan out writing only weekends and block them off in my schedule ahead of time so that I didn’t feel guilty dedicating my free time to writing. Now that I work from home, I’m able to write before work and during lunch. Across both situations though, what’s really helped me is breaking my work down into manageable parts. Instead of “I need to work on my book” it would be “I need to complete one chapter or scene,” so that I had doable amounts of work each day that were also flexible depending on my schedule. By doing this, and setting distinct periods of times dedicated to writing, I could more freely spend non-writing time doing other things.
Best places to find you on the internet
Tanvi Berwah: Twitter and IG: @tanviberwah Website: tanviberwah.com
Katherine Rothschild: Twitter and IG: @kath_rothschild Website: kathrothschild.com
Stacey Filak: Twitter and IG: @staceyfilak Website: www.staceyfilak.com
Kalyn Josephson: Twitter and IG: @kalynmjosephson TikTok: @kalynjosephson Website: Kalynjosephson.com