Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

How will you make time to write, to send out query letters, and to promote your writing? Forget about waiting until you have the time, it’ll never happen. You have to make the time, and that means analyzing how you’re currently spending time to see where you can make different choices that better reflect your goals and priorities.

Maybe you spend a lot of time waiting for kids. That time could be spent writing, if you brought along a notebook, a portable writing device like an Alphasmart, or something you can dictate into. Maybe you spend a lot of time checking email. You can set two times a day to check email, and the rest of the time keep it closed. Saving those interruptions may free up enough time to write a couple of pages. Maybe you spend a lot of time doing activities you don’t really have to do that you really don’t love and don’t find as important as writing. Let them go.

Go through a typical day or week and think about how you’re spending your time. Are you doing the actions now that will reflect the person you want to be and the life you want to live? Would a successful novelist spend an entire day washing the outside windows with a bucket, or would she buy a spray attachment for the hose and get the job done in half an hour so she could get back to the book? (You can buy a Windex spray attachment for this purpose, and it works just fine.)

Maybe there are things you have to do, but you could do them more efficiently, or less often. I made a lot of changes in my life to accommodate writing. If you’re serious about your writing, you can, too. Even if you can only free up fifteen minutes, if you use that time to write, you’re moving towards your goals.