Posted by: Ellie Royce | October 20, 2009

Time to Write

One of my favourite little expressions is that” I write whenever I have time (and quite often when I should be doing something else)” And it’s funny, as Homer says, because it’s true. I’ve been in that situation of  working full time, then having little kids, family stuff going on madly, building houses,moving, life in general really. I’ve rarely ever had the luxury of unlimited time and space to write except when I was a teenager and really, unlike the super generation of Stephs coming up now (which is brilliant!) I didn’t have the confidence or knowledge that one could be published at 15 so it was all exersize book under the bed stuff (yes, readers it was BEFORE COMPUTERS!!!!) As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I am not the type of fabbo person who can get up at 3 or saty up till  2 am. I’m weak, readers, I need my sleep or I get cross and crazy.Right now I’m in the groove of working 5 days but with one daughter almost moved out and the other getting ready to go I can see juicy fat hours of writing time before me which holds me back from going completely mad with desire.

You see, I need to write.

In, through, under and behind the rest of my life I’ve always written. Even if it’s just for half an hour I need to do it.Keeping those voices in my head under control by telling their stories keeps me sane (ish).

Now, I haven’t been to Uni but I did spend about seven years writing freelance articles for magazines while I worked on my 356 page non-fiction book. I look at that time as a kind of education because what I did was learn how to find submission guidelines, submit, be rejected,do more research, edit, resubmit etc etc. This was when my kids were little. 500 to 3000 word articles were brilliant, they were just the right length for my half hour sessions.After a while I was accepted ( a great great day!) and got a regular gig doing articles of this length. It’s a huge education to write a 3000 word article and be asked to rip it down to 1000. And then discover how much better it was! This paid extra pocket money so it gave me the confidence to say “I can allocate time to this.” I think that us women writers often suffer guilt about our desire for writing time- it seems selfish , doesn’t it? IT”S NOT.

I find fiction harder to do in short bursts because (well at least I do anyway) one leaves the ‘real world’ and enters the story. My way of dealing with my current lack of actual writing time is to think about my writing- er often.I make notes and imagine a lot (don’t tell my family okay?) so that when I do get a few hours to write it’s only my lack of touch typying skills that holds me back. Some times though (like now,) when I get close to the end of a book there is an actual kind of fever that seems to come on me and I just sneak off every 5 minutes that I get and it doesn’t stop me.MUST FINISH BOOK.

So, on that note, I’m off to write a bit. Moral of the story? Don’t stop writing. And don’t let lack of time stop you starting! If you’re a writer ,you write. Whenever, for however long you can.Hurrah!



  1. Great advice, Ellie! If you’ve gotta write, you’ve gotta write. It’s part of who you are. Thank you for giving me to permission to let go of guilt. 😉

    Good luck with finishing the book!

  2. finish the book, finish the book

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