Outside, the only light in the darkness comes from the dim flicker of stars. Inside, I fumble along the landing with nothing but the orange glow of a single nightlight to guide me. Riker, the slightly congested tabby cat, snores softly. The children toss and turn in their beds. It is ridiculously early. Even the cockerel in the church-town hasn’t started crowing yet. I stumble wearily downstairs into the kitchen and fire up the kettle. Three minutes later, I’m in my office with a steaming mug of tea and a glimmering blank page on my computer screen. It’s 5 a.m. Time to write.
This week on the blog we’re talking about how we fit writing into our lives. The answer is the same for all of us: we make time to write. And it isn’t always easy. When I began my first novel, After Eden, I was working full-time as a teacher. When I came home from work, I had to make dinner for the family, help the children with their homework, throw some laundry in the machine and then settle down for an evening of marking books. All the sorts of things most working mothers have to do.
I’d always loved writing and dreamt of ‘one day’ having enough time to complete a book. Eventually, I realised that ‘one day’ might never come. If I was going to make my dream come true I needed to make it happen. So, I took a long hard look at my schedule and realised that if I was going to do this, I’d have to get up before work to write. And so I did. Five o’clock to six thirty every morning until it was done.
Two books later, I still work almost full-time. I have some half days which means I occasionally get to write during daylight, but most of my writing is still done in the dark pre-dawn hours. (And I’m not being smug about this – forcing myself to get up at 5 am is still as hard now as it was the first time!)
Lots of people tell me they’d like to write a book if they had the time. I understand this. We’re all busy. There are never enough hours in the day. But if you really want to do something, you can make the time. Now, my life would be perfect if I could just find the time to go to the gym . . .