Writing Books/guilt

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I want to write novels and am on my second go around. The first time failed because my life felt too "big" and I felt guilt adding something else. I have two kids, I homeschool one, I have more animals than I care to give a number for and my house is small, therefor never quiet.  I have an active social life, am an avid reader and am always saying yes when I should say no. The phone is always ringing and I am always answering it.  Its hard to not feel that writing is a selfish "hobby" when it doesnt feel like a job (I dont get a paycheck in the mail every week). What I do have in my favor, however, is that I dont work outside of the home and my husband is supportive for the most part. I really would like to devote about 2-3 hours a day to this project, which I know means simplifying my life in general. But it does feel like I am being selfish with my time and demand for quiet.  Is this normal and how do I get around it?  I really feel I have talent and would like to be published someday.
thanks for your opinion  

Answer
Making time is hard enough for those of us without all the obligations in life that you've listed, so I can only imagine how difficult it must seem for you.

First and foremost, you must overcome the feeling of being selfish.  Your time is YOURS.  You use it how you choose to.  

Try starting smaller, too.  Begin with one hour per day.  Or even one hour every other day, just to ease yourself into this.  Make it clear to others that you will be working toward a 2-3 hour daily writing schedule, though, just so they're not surprised when you kick it up.

Now, during this hour that you've alloted yourself, you'll have to do a few things.  One is to not answer the phone.  That's why we invented voicemail, after all.  I don't know how old your homeschooled child is, but if s/he is old enough to spend time alone for an hour, see that it happens.  If not, then wait until hubby is home.  Or do it first thing in the morning, while the kid is still in bed.  Make sure the pets have food and water before you close yourself in your room.  And yes... you need to be away from distractions, so this means in a room with the door closed.

In short, you have to insulate yourself, and you have to be okay with doing so.  Cut back on the social life if you need to.  Learn to say no.

You can always find the time to write, and if you're serious about it (and no, you don't have to make a dime off of it to be serious about it), you'll find that time.

It's just a matter of accepting that it's something you need to do.  Without guilt.

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Vincent M. Wales

Expertise

I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.

Experience

For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

Education/Credentials
BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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