Like a lot of you (I'm guessing), I know a lot of writers. One of the things we talk about (okay, whine about) is finding time to write. There's always something interrupting, be it kids, work, spouses, or just life in general. Writing is important to us all, but somehow, it always winds up last on the To-Do List.
It was a lot easier to let writing slide when I was unpublished. No one was breathing down my neck for a manuscript or revisions or cover copy. I could get it done when I got it done. Now that I have a contract, that's changed. I can't let it slide, because there are schedules to keep, and those schedules start a LONG way before the book ever hits the stands.
So how do you stay motivated without that editor's deadline?
Make writing a priority.
Easier said than done, I know. So start small. Pick a time where writing is tops on the list. Wednesday nights from six to eight. Saturday morning. Thirty minutes at lunch after you eat a quick sandwich. Set aside some time, no matter how small, and write during that time. If you need to leave the house to do it, grab the keys and go.
Because if you don't build those skills now, you're in trouble when you do sell that book. Because no matter how understanding editors are, they have deadlines to meet, same as you. They have bosses breathing down their necks to get their books in on time. So it's not just taking time for yourself, it's training for the professional career you hope to have. It's skills you'll need just like you'll need to know how to twist a plot and build suspense.
I know, it's not easy. Friends and family might even call it your "little hobby" and not understand how important this dream is to you. Show them that it is by making it important in your life. Claim that writing time and stick with it. Before long, you'll be in a routine and getting a lot done. And it'll be easier to claim other bits of time as well.
Chances are, even after you sell your first book, you'll still work. (most writers don't make a living off just their books for a long time, if ever). Finding out now if you can do that and write is important. You don't ever want to be in a position of having to decide between work, writing, and family. You don't want your dream to fail because there's just too much on your plate and you can't do it all.
Find out how much you can do, and when you can do it, so when the dream does come true, you'll be ready for it.
And isn't knowing you can handle the pressures of a debut writing career a great motivator?