I’m asked that question all the time.
As a full time veterinarian, my work hours are…let’s say, flexible. My last appointment might be at 5:40, but I might not get home ’till eight on any given night. True emergencies, and “emergencies” (client: “Gee, Doc, he’s been throwing up for six days straight…I think he’s really sick.” me: “I agree. He was ‘really sick’ five days ago. I’ve been here waiting for you all week. But now I’ll just go ahead and cancel my dinner plans, so…all right then.”). I also have a husband who likes to see me now and then, a house and yard to take care of, and usually a marathon or bike ride to train for.
So when do I write?
The easy answer is: I write on the evenings my husband is at the restaurant. He’s out at least one night a week, and sometimes four, so I get some good blocks of time to sit and make words happen.
But the real answer is: All the time.
I write on my bike rides, thinking about troublesome plot points as the miles whiz past.
I write in line at the grocery.
I write in bed at night when the house is dark and quiet except for the purring of the cats who make blankets unnecessary.
The actual words only pour out when I’m sitting here in front of the keyboard, but a writer is always writing. Noticing. Considering. Invisible people are constantly whispering in my brain if I’m not doing something that drowns them out.
If you know any writers, you know the look. We get really into our own heads. It’s not that we’re tuning you out, it’s just that our book worlds are as real to us as the tangible world is to you. Sometimes we wander out of this world and into our own. Sometimes we get stuck there.
So if you’re talking to a writer and they don’t hear you right away, don’t be offended. You aren’t the only one talking to them even if you’re the only person you can see.
When do I write?
I’m writing right now.