When I published Starcrasher, there were no fireworks of a huge marketing campaign. I told my friends and my colleagues that I had published a book. As the Kindle-version is immaterial, for most people it wasn't even what they would call a book, but when I showed them the printed brick, there was a genuine wow-reaction.

The question on everyone's lips was,

'How do you find the time to write?'

It's a fair question, and this is my quick, TL;DR, answer: 'I just do a little every morning before the rest of the world gets in my way.'

A longer answer is that you never have time to do everything, but you always have time to do what's important. Writing a book is hard even if you have time, and it can feel that the rest of the world is there only to throw obstacles in your way.

The first step for me was to confirm that writing was important. Everyone has their priorities and their needs, and if I don't prioritise what's important for me, I will be working on someone else's agenda. I reminded myself why I write, and made it a priority.

The second step was to make sure the important thing was done first. This is particularly important, because anything can happen during the day. With a day job in business and a child at home, this was slightly harder. I realised I couldn't write the first thing in the morning, and I knew myself well enough not to rely on getting thing done late at night.

You Don't Find the Time; You Take the Time

After trying various options, I found a reasonable compromise. On weekdays I write after the family morning rituals, but before switching on the business mode. Now I wake up at around 6:30 am, make coffee and breakfast for the family, and head out the door to write in a cafe. Having an hour of uninterrupted time every day enables me to write 500-1000 new words or make good progress in editing. After I've done my writing, I go meet the wolves.

Every day, this is my order of priority: 1. family, 2. writing, 3. other important stuff.

Sometimes, to truly immerse myself in a story, I need more than an hour of continuous runway. This is especially important when I must look at the bigger picture, converge multiple storylines, or finalise a story. For these purposes, I sometimes take a day off from the day job, or block some time on the weekend. And it's OK, because writing is a priority.

Whether it's the daily grind or an intensive writing session, I'm ruthless about protecting my writing time. You should too, if writing is your priority.

How do you take the time to write?