I can’t speak for everyone who is self-employed: be it a small business owner, a consultant, an artist, etc.—anyone who works for themselves. But the biggest challenge as a writer is time management.
I’m not saying that I’m any busier than anyone else. Writing is a part-time job for me (if it was fulltime my family would have starved or left me long ago). I work four jobs in the winter: teacher (fulltime), tutor (part-time), hockey ref (part-time) and writer (part-time). I’m married, and I have three small children, whose ages are 4, 7 and 9, so they expect and take up much of my time.
For me, writing the novel—coming up with ideas and characters—is not the most challenging part of being a novelist, it’s actually finding the time to sit down in a calm, quiet environment and being able to write. When I sit down to write, it can’t be for twenty or thirty minutes. I need a good two-hour stretch to actually sit down with my ideas and transfer them to my laptop.
So when do I write?
Summers are a little more flexible, since I’m a teacher and have all of July and most of August off for holidays. But my children are still around, and they need constant stimulation from dad, so sitting down in lengthy increments isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Winters are brutal. This is what my day looks like:
6am – wake up for short workout.
6:30am – start making lunches.
6:45am – kids wake up, do breakfast, help with clothes, hair, teeth, etc.
7:30am – bus picks up kids
8am-3pm – teach
3:30pm-4:30pm – tutor, kids get home from school.
4:30pm – pick up youngest at daycare
5pm – prepare supper
5:30pm-8:30pm – supper, homework, bath time, family time, etc.
8:30pm – story and bed time
The first point in my day where I have time to myself to sit down with my thoughts is nine o’clock at night. By this time, I’m pretty tired, my brain fried from a full day’s work. Some nights are more productive than others, but I always try to push through, and at least get an hour of writing out of it.
Not always easy, but when you are determined and disciplined, you find a way to get things done.
Author Bio (2017)
Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand (Imajin Books, 2012) and Kiss & Tell (Imajin Books, 2015).
Murphy played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7).
Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife, three daughters and pug. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).
For more information on Luke and his books, visit: www.authorlukemurphy.com, ‘like’ his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLukeMurphy and follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/AuthorLMurphy.
Buy link: Author.to/Author