I honestly believe that if you want something enough, you’ll make the time for it. It all comes down to choice.
My guest, Paul Anthony Shortt, is an Irish storyteller and urban fantasy author.
Paul's topic is one we hear from many writers today—finding time to do all the things we love to do. Especially writing. It's not an easy juggling act for most of us and yet, somehow we have to find the time to release all the players and worlds in our head to printed page. But, I'll let Paul tell you about his struggle to find time.
Like many authors, I’m a proud parent. Our twin girls were born on , last year, and we got a surprise a few months ago when we learned that we’re going to have another little one arriving in January.
As many people know, the twins were actually our second and third children. We lost our first, Conor, when he was three days old.
I believe having Conor prepared us for being parents to twins. His brief life showed us how loved we are by friends and family, and left us stronger for the decisions we were forced to make at the time. It also made us more determined than ever to be the best parents possible.
As you can imagine, twins are a drain on your time and energy. Their needs have to come first, and when you have a pregnant wife with mobility issues due to disability, you have to make some tough decisions when it comes to your free time.
I learned to prioritise very quickly. Writing became relegated to my lunch hour in work, or after the girls were asleep in the evenings, and it had to stop if one of them needed to be fed or changed. I became more selfish, I feel, with my time. Where before I would have been happy to lose an evening to lazing on the couch watching random television, I started only wanting to watch something if I was specifically interested in it. Or else, I’d leave my wife to channel-hop (she loves finding random things to watch) while I would sit on the couch with a netbook getting some extra work done.
Once any activity stopped being fulfilling, I set it aside and moved on to something else. Whether it was gaming, or a book, or even a particular meal, if I was no longer enjoying it, I stopped. It required developing a bit of a ruthless streak, but I now had too many responsibilities to give time to things that weren’t truly rewarding.
I decided early on that my two highest priorities had to be my children and my writing. The first was a given, but the second, while being a very personal choice and geared towards my own goals and success, would also help provide a better life for my children. Once I had the time set aside for both those things, I decided, then I could look at other activities. And, as it happens, I’ve managed to deal with the workload quite well. I’m seeing my friends regularly, and still gaming every week, even though I have taken a step back from running games while getting ready for Silent Oath to come out.
I often see people comment about not having enough time to write. I agree, making the time is hard. But it has to be done. I honestly believe that if you want something enough, you’ll make the time for it. It all comes down to choice. Maybe taking care of your children or putting in overtime at work leaves you exhausted and you don’t want to be near a computer in the evening. That’s okay. The thing is, you have to accept that its your choice to spend what free time you have the way you like. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to unwind instead of write, I do it myself, but we must always make our decisions in the knowledge that prioritising one thing means letting another fall to the side. We choose for ourselves what things have priority, and what things to let go of.
For some, that means letting go of writing, if only temporarily. For others, it means cutting back on work, or getting up an hour early at weekends to play with your kids, or giving up your lunch break to write. All choices in life come down to priorities like these. Make sure you pick the ones that are right for you, and you will lead a happy, fulfilling life, whatever you do.
- HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME TO DO THE THINGS YOU LOVE?
- IF YOU'RE A WRITER WHAT DO YOU DO TO CARVE OUT WRITING IN A BUSY WORLD?
Nathan's only chance to uncover the memories of his previous existence, and to conquer these new forces of evil, lies in Elena DeSantis. A woman he has fought beside in past lifetimes. A woman he has loved.
Together, Nathan and Elena are the only future the city has. Excerpt (First Chapter Amazon)
Paul lives in Ireland with his wife Jen and their dogs, Pepper and Jasper. Their first child, Conor William Henry Shortt, was born on July 11th, 2011. He passed away three days later, but brought love and joy into their lives and those of their friends. The following year, Jen gave birth to twins, Amy and Erica, and is now expecting their fourth child.
Paul's first novel, Locked Within, was released on November 6th, 2012, by WiDo Publishing. Silent Oath is the second book in this urban fantasy trilogy.