Stay At Home Writer

A month and a half ago, I left my full-time job. Woo hoo, I thought, now I’ll have more than enough time fojpg_BPA0225r full-time writing and I’ll finish my new novel in a New York minute. Well, not so fast.

Even though the whole day is mine, stretching out before me like the road to Oz, there seem to be so many other things that muscle in on my writing time.

There are errands and food shopping—a person has to eat, right?

Or catching up with friends who were always worried I’d be too busy for a conversation.
And of course, the triple threat: Email, Facebook and Twitter. They reach out to me the moment I sit down at the computer. I could justify all this attention paid to social media as beneficial input rather than procrastination. Sort of.

There seem to be hundreds of obstacles that get in the way of writing my work in progress, including writing about not writing it.

I guess I’m still getting used to finding a routine. When I was working, I got everything in, including writing time. Maybe it was because I knew I had to make it fit; that my opportunities weren’t as numerous as the day is long

So how about you? What’s your writing routine and how do you make it work?

This entry was posted in *Cathi, On Authors, On Books, On Writers, On Writing and tagged , , , , by Cathi Stoler. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cathi Stoler

Cathi's three New York mystery novels feature P.I. Helen McCorkendale and magazine editor, Laurel Imperiole who keep finding new ways to get into trouble. She also writes about a handsome gambling man, Nick Donahue who has a flare for International intrigue. She recently won the Short Mystery Fiction Society Derringer Award for 2014 for her short story "The Kaluki Kings of Queens" in the Sisters in Crime anthology, "Murder New York Style: Family Matters." Visit Cathi at or follow her on Twitter @cathicopy.

12 thoughts on “Stay At Home Writer

  1. Hi, Cathi. My best time to write is early morning. Without the day’s distractions, I can hear my ideas play out. Then, as the day unfolds, I can do whatever else needs to be done, knowing I’ve already put in my writing time.

    Not everyone is a morning person, but I think everyone has a time they feel most free to let their ideas flow, and can plan around that time.

    • Thanks Gerald. I’m not a real morning person so I tend to leave writing for the afternoon.

  2. First thing, or it gets to be the last thing.

    I get up and write, IF I don’t have other things that require my attention such as my own health, I’m too tired, I need to exercise, that’s mucho important, then there are family needs. But once I get into my book it’s in the fast lane these days. I’ve thought so much about it that it spills out like soy milk.

  3. Congratulations on your new life!!! Get up and write, no matter what. Don’t let curiosity about social media stand in the way of your storytelling. I write when I get up if I’m not too tired, I workout after writing, then it’s family needs, singing. These days the stories spill out like soy milk because I’ve been thinking about them so long.

    Most of all, HAVE FUN!!! Don’t let the storytelling control you, you control it. It’s not the only thing in the world.

  4. Hi Dot,
    I have been writing and actually finished and submitted a short story and have worked on my new novel, as well. Just feel like I want to do more. And like you, when I actually sit down to write, it comes fairly easily as I’ve been mulling it over in my head for a while.

  5. You’re getting more done than you realize. I, too, work at home and try to spend a lot of time on my creative writing. But I find I work out the ideas while I am sorting the laundry, sweeping up after the cats (even talking to the cats about stuff), chopping salad, all the fun things. I’ve got a pad on the kitchen counter for brilliant thoughts.
    I do like the solitude of being home alone. It keeps my train of thought on track.

  6. Cathi, I remember well how one’s sense of time changes in retirement. For me the greatest obstacle to getting to work was the Internet. I finally made a rule that I would check email only once in the morning and the rest of it could wait until later.

    I’m sure you’ll settle in to a routine that works for you. In the meanwhile enjoy the luxury of owning your day.

  7. I hear you , Cathi.I still struggle with the many ways to become side tracked. To my surprise, since I am definitely not a morning person, when I need to just get it done, first thing in the morning is effective. It’s kind of free flow, one hour, no revisions, no editing. Then the words are there on paper (so to speak) and revision can come any time. I belong to a very informal group on Face book, organized by editor and teacher Ramona DeFelice Long, where we all encourage each other to sign in and do that morning sprint.

  8. Anne-Marie, Anita, Triss,

    Thank you for your comments. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I’ve been away and just returned. like you, Anne-Marie, I do have ideas while I’m doing other things-usually while I’m walking & start talking to myself. As you might imagine, people on the street give me a wide berth. Anita, the once a day rule sounds good, but not sure I can resists checking messages, etc. And, Triss, I like the idea of a time limit just to write with no editing or revising. I will give these good suggestions a try.

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