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Finding the time-- Now, with pictures!

Back before I was published, when I would write one book at a time, take all the time I needed, and then send it to my agent, people asked me: Where do you find the time?

And then I had a kid, and I kept writing. And people asked, Where do you find the time? 

And then I sold a book, and I had deadlines, and still poeple asked,  Where do you find the time?

And then my first book, PRADA & PREUDICE came out and I was doing interviews and blogging and facebooking and all those things I'm supposed to do, and yet I still had to write YOU WISH, and people asked, Where do you find the time?
(Click for larger!)

And then I became a two book per year author. And people asked, Where do you find the time?

And then I became a literary agent. And people asked, Where do you find the time?

Now, here's the thing. Back when I first started writing-- before the kid, the two book per year schedule, the deadlines, the lit agent duties......


Honestly. I dont think there is a person in the world that feels like they have enormous blocks of time just sitting around, waiting to be filled. EVERYONE IS BUSY. If not in reality, at least in your head, you feel REALLY FREAKIN BUSY.

There will always be day jobs and yards to mow and dishes to do and ballet class to shuttle kids to and that college degree you're trying to finish. There will ALWAYS BE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE. But are they MORE important to you than writing? Are you using them as an excuse?

The question is: What is your priority? Is it keeping up with JERSEY SHORE and shopping? Is it getting a square 8 hours of sleep every single night without fail? Is it a sparkling clean house and perfectly ironed clothes?

Or is it following your dream? Is it being a writer, and maybe, an author? When you want it bad enough, you make it happen. That's really all it boils down to. You get up a half hour early. You lug your laptop around and you write on the commuter train and again during lunch. You go over copyedits while stirring that pot of soup and you read your critique partner's notes while your kid watches Dora the Explorer and when she goes to bed, you turn on the computer and get to work.

There are a lot of things I'd like to do. I used to exercise regularly, and lately I keep thinking, "I should join the gym." And then I think, when would I go? If I get up early to go, I won't be as inclined to stay up late, which is what I do pretty regularly in order to get work done. But if I go after the kid goes to bed-- that's my BEST writing time! The only time of the day that is totally uninterrupted.

I make choices. I give up things in order to find the time to write.

But find it, I do. And if writing is a true dream of yours, you'll find it too.

[ALL COMICS ARE (c) Debbie at INKY GIRL. ]


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 14th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Just coming off five years of back to back deadlines and I'm going back to writing the book first because I decided that was the balance I was missing and for me--well, it was giving me writer's block and making writing hard. I've gained weight, felt blah so I know it wasn't working.

I really admire people who do it all, but right now I want to concentrate on finding my own balance that includes long walks, sort of keeping up with laundry and writing--and reading.

BTW--You Wish is my daughter's SSR book at school right now and she's LOVING it. She's been talking about giant gumballs and pink ponies. :)

Sep. 14th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
I think you have just described my life. Damn it, I no longer feel compelled to dust today! Thanks for inspiring me!

Edited at 2010-09-14 06:14 pm (UTC)
Sep. 14th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
Fantastic post! Thank you! And I loved all of inky girl's comics :)
Sep. 14th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
This is an amazing post. Thank you!
Sep. 14th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
And we are so glad you do!
I LOVED P&P and have You Wish on order. You are a gifted writer and I am so glad you make the time. Also, thank you for this post. I am a homeschooling mama to two little girls and have definite perfectionist/martha stewart tendencies. I am learning where to make the time to write and reading other Mama's posts like this REALLY help!
Sep. 14th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
As a debut author balancing mommyhood, a dayjob, writing a new book, editing another book, promotion, etc., I really want to say DITTO! Great post! :)
Sep. 14th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
Great post, Mandy. I've given up a lot to find the time to write, but it's nothing I miss more than I would my writing time.
Sep. 14th, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
Awesome inspiration.
Sep. 14th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Great post! It really resonated. Mind you, I have more time for writing now that I am taking on fewer projects AND writing full time, but if we start a family in the future, that will all shift once again. I agree with you - we make the time for things that are important.
Sep. 15th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you posted this. I did a talk the other night and we covered this very topic. So often, I hear things from people like, "I really want to write a book, but I don't have the free time." It's not about free time or even *finding* time, because time is not some mysterious thing hidden under rocks that you can pick up if you look closely enough. We all have the same number of hours in a day. It's about making writing a priority within those hours. To do that, yep, you have to give up other stuff. When I wrote TBS, I was working a 60+hr/week job, going to business school, and still trying to have a life. I didn't have a TV, I wrote on my lunch hours, stayed up late, didn't go out as much after work, but I made it happen, and so can anyone else, as long as writing is a priority.

Thanks again for the reminder and the inspiration!
Sep. 15th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
Ok, you've inspired me. No couch tonight, my tush is staying here in front of the computer!
Sep. 17th, 2010 07:59 am (UTC)
That's so true. I've been going pretty slowly because of my Japanese study, but I'm hanging in there.

Love the DST pic :)
Sep. 17th, 2010 08:12 am (UTC)
Field Trip Friday: September 17
User yahighway referenced to your post from Field Trip Friday: September 17 saying: [...] t Nathan Bransford warns against letting your dreams take over your reasonable expectations. - Author Amy Lukavics shares the evolution of her (eventually successful) query. - Don't have time to write? Yes you do. You're never as busy as you think you are. Mandy Hubbard describes how she finds the time [...]
Sep. 17th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
This is an amazing post that totally gave me the inspiration I need to squeeze in 3,000 words on this studying/part-time job filled/friends in from out of town weekend.

However, I DO want to pass on one nugget of advice I received from a personal trainer friend. When my first manuscript received a request for revision, I totally quit all my exercise classes because I thought it got in the way of my writing. A friend of mine who is a PT gave me a good piece of advice while she was reprimanding me: "I don't care if you are a movie star, a mathematician, a stay-at-home mom, or a garbage collector. You cannot be the best movie star, mathematician, stay-at-home mom or garbage collector you can be unless your body is working for you."

Mandy, you're a beautiful woman and an amazing writer, but don't let fitness fall to the wayside! Once I made my daily gym visit a priority again, my writing flow totally improved. Think of it as something you do daily to get the blood flowing to your brain. :-)
Sep. 17th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, hee. I do get some form of exercise. But it's going to be taking my 3 year old on a bike ride or mowing the lawn-- things that are multi-purpose. :-)
Sep. 20th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
Monday Mix, September 20
User ariannasterling referenced to your post from Monday Mix, September 20 saying: [...] . I also loved Mandy Hubbard not just for her posts on finding the time to write [...]
Oct. 16th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
prada and prejudice=AWESOME
omg i just finished reading your book prada and prejudice and i loved it..... a lot!!! the whole time i read it i pictured it as a movie. the book is so breath taking and i can totally relate to callie. i also loved how you brought old life and compared it with life today. you are an amazing author and i want to read more of your books, i also didnt want prada and prejudice to end i wanted it to keep going. thanks for writing AWESOME books and you should make it a movie considering your an agent. thanks again.!!!!!:)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
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