It's summer time, the kids are over the novelty of being out of school, and they're looking to you for entertainment suggestions. That's a tough situation for any parent, but what if you're an author? How do you find time to get the words down each day when you've got little ones running around the house, constantly needing your attention? Unless you're ready to take the summer off along with them, you've got to find some sort of compromise with your time and attention. Here are some techniques that other authors have found helpful.
Get Up Early
It might seem unfair for you to have to get up before dawn, just to find some time to write, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do, right? Set the alarm for an hour before your earliest early bird usually wakes up, and take advantage of that time to do some mad sprints, putting down as many words as possible. It won't be all the writing you do during the day, but it will be a great foundation to pile more words on top of.
Take advantage of all the small bits of quiet time you have during the day. Really, you have more of them than you think. Give the kids lunch, put in 15 minutes on the keyboard. They're playing video games? Their attention's bound to be tied up for half an hour or more. Give your kids tablets for a 20-minute playtime and write while they're online. After they're in bed for the night, sit down and put in another 30 minutes to finish your day. You might be surprised: breaking up your writing into short sprints like this can actually increase your word count.
The Family Project
Turn writing time into a family affair. Get each of your kids a keyboard for their tablet, a laptop, or a word processor. Let them know that you're all going to be having fun writing stories all summer long, and that they'll be actual published authors by the end of the summer. Spend a couple of hours setting each of them up with outlines, covers and other needed details, then have a designated writing time every day. Even with the expected questions, you'll still be able to crank out hundreds of words each day.
The Writing Retreat
If you've got an understanding spouse or an agreeable friend, plan a weekend without kids. Go to a motel or cabin, bring along a laptop and spend two or three days writing from morning until night. With twenty hours or more behind the keyboard, you'll have a great chunk of a book ready to edit by the time you get home.
Keep the Faith and May the force be with You!