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How Published Writers Make Time To Write

Updated on March 22, 2014
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Published January 20, 2014 by Mary McShane

Finding time to write in our busy world is becoming harder and harder.

If you have a job, writing time comes in second.

If you have a family, it gets pushed back behind them in line.

If you have other obligations, writing seriously takes a back seat.

How do you make time to do the one thing you love to do when you have so many other obligations?

Here's what published writers have to say about how they allocate time out of their day to write and some advice for aspiring writers.

John Grisham: Author Of A Time To Kill

John Grisham was a busy lawyer by day and vowed to write one page a day to get his first novel written. A Time To Kill was not a success. His second book, The Firm, was.

In this interview, he gives aspiring writers practical advice.

John Grisham - Write Every Day

Jacob Tomsky: Author Of Heads In Bed

Jacob Tomsky is the author of "Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality". He worked his way from the parking garage to management in the hotel industry. His book gives an insider the view of what goes on in hotels. Biographile published an interview upon the publication of his book.

His 30 second clip gives advice to writers.

Advice From Jacob Tomsky

Stephen King's Opening Sentence Strategy

Stephen King shares his all time favorite opening lines, how he writes them so the reader wants to open the book and read the story.

And this is what happened ...

Stephen King - From Short Stories To Novels

Peter Heller: Author Of The Dog Stars

Peter Heller says he has been writing since he was six years old. But in this interview, he says he finds it hard to sit at a desk and put in hours to write.

Peter Heller - Always Stop In The Middle Of A Project

Phillipa Gregory: Author Of That Boleyn Girl

Phillipa Gregory wrote her first book while waiting to get hired as an academic lecturer. When it was a bestseller, she decided she would try writing for awhile instead. That was 30 years ago. Here's more of her interview talking about how she writes.

Advice From Phillipa Gregory

Ian McEwan: Author Of Atonement

Ian McEwan is considered one of Britain's greatest living writers. He wrote an essay "When I Stop Believing In Fiction" and was interviewed about it and more here.

Ian McEwan - His Environment & Schedule

Bill O'Reilly: Author Of Killing Jesus: A History

Bill O'Reilly often finds himself in hot water when he speaks his mind on national television. With the publication of his new book, what he says in interviews has made news again. In this interview, he says his book "Killing Jesus: A History" wasn't written solely by him.

Bill O'Reilly - Writing Question From A Viewer

George Orwell

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

  1. What am I trying to say?
  2. What words will express it?
  3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
  4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

--- George Orwell (1903 - 1950), "Politics and the English Language", 1946

I hope you enjoyed this article on writing.

© Mary McShane

© 2014 Mary McShane


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  • Ebower profile image

    Erin Bower 3 years ago from Georgia

    This is very helpful! I voted it up and useful.

  • Mary McShane profile image

    Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @ Rev. Akins, thank you for visiting and reading my article and for following me.

  • Rev. Akins profile image

    Rev. Akins 3 years ago from Tucson, AZ

    This is one of those hubs that you need to come back to several times. I need to work on some things, and then come back and listen some more to fix other problems. Great hub, looking forward to reading or listening to it more. Thanks!

  • The Examiner-1 profile image

    The Examiner-1 4 years ago

    You are right there Mary. It is also easier for me to say in writing, and I am still learning how to put the words correctly on paper. When I take time to think it comes out better, lol.


  • Mary McShane profile image

    Mary McShane 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @The Examiner-1

    Kevin, Thank you for visiting. The hub on advice from writers would not be complete unless something from Stephen King were included. Choosing that "something" was a challenge. His written word reads well enough, but like many writers, doesn't transfer well to the spoken word. It is hard to find King on video offering good advice and not find the droning voice coming in. Just his way, I guess. LOL. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub.


  • The Examiner-1 profile image

    The Examiner-1 4 years ago

    This was interesting Mary and all the videos were enthusing. Well almost all. I have heard, and read, very often what Jacob Tomsky said and that is what I was thinking when I started writing my blog before HP. I also very much liked the ones by Peter Heller and Phillipa Gregory. I did not get anything from Stephen King, except bored. Otherwise I thought this was very good and rated it high.


  • Mary McShane profile image

    Mary McShane 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    In 4 hours this hub has over 35 views, and just one comment, so I guess not everyone agrees with the advice or it was all jut old news! LOL. If I can put any advice to use to make a goal to transition to paper publishing, I'll take it anywhere I can get it. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Bill.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I always enjoy hearing from the pros. They have been there and paid their dues, so what they have to say is valuable. Thanks for sharing these.