I realized only minutes ago (Sunday evening 10:30 p.m.) that I scheduled to blog here at RSS on Monday. In a panic, I found this blog I wrote almost ten years ago (now updated) and realized that my life has changed a lot since then but also, I’m just as busy. I’m still working outside the home—actually studying for another career too—and I’m now helping my son raise his two sons. Motherhood in your golden years is challenging, but oh so fun. And finding time to write is  still a chore. Most days it doesn’t seem like I have a minute to breathe much less craft a great story, but I’ve done it and will again and again and again.

My motto has always been; word by word, line by line and page by page, and by staying true to that frame of mind, I’ve written thirteen 80K novels in as many years.

Here are a few things I did or gave up to write;

1) I limited my social media and television viewing.

2) I wake earlier, before others in the house, and spent an hour or two in another world.

3) If I wake in the middle of night, which is often, I’ll make notes.

4) I carry pages with me and worked on the wip while waiting for scheduled appointments, sports practice, or even in the lot at grocery store before I shop.

5) Lunch break is a great time to add a paragraph or two.

6) I set goals every day.

7) I’ve made notes in church. You’d be surprise at the inspiration that enters you while in the house.

8) I write while I cook. Keep that pencil and pad with you at all times. I even have a pad of water proof paper near my shower.

9) I joined the RSS WWF in January and scheduled myself in the chat room at least five hours a week. Accepting a hostess responsibility put my butt in chair.

10) I’ve faithfully attended my writing chapter’s monthly meetings and spent a some time writing there before heading home.

11) I get out of the house, away from the chores (I can always find more to do around the house.) and go to the library to write. Some of my friends go to coffee shops.

12) I use my tape recorder function on my phone when I’m walking or sitting in traffic.

13) I’ve made my children,  and now grandchildren, responsible for their rooms and only interfered with their farm of dust bunnies when a health issue becomes apparent.

14) I’ve learned to say YES when it’s really important for me to do so. Otherwise, it’s a “I’ll do what I can, if I’m free that day.”

15) I don’t read every book to the end. If I’m not involved with the story, I move on. Time is too precious.

16) During the season, I don’t try to keep up with the Jones next door. I mow my grass every ten days instead of every Friday.

17) I make time for family and friends because they inspire me.

18) I try to schedule a new adventure every few months, because I need excitement. Guess who attended Celtic Fest last weekend and is going to Ireland in 2019? Living a mundane life, shows in the writing. JMO

19) I don’t have the cleanest car on the block, or house for that matter, but I do have a ton of friends in my head.

20) I spend time each day looking up at the sky and thanking the higher power for giving me a talent that I love!


I’m sure some of you can add to the list. Please do. I’m always looking for ways to find seconds to get inspiration and work.



  1. Addison Fox says:

    I LOVE this post, AJ!!!! And you are so right – books are written word by word. Using those small snatches of time like waiting in the car ADD UP!!!!


    • Thank you, Addison. Thinking about writing a whole book has frozen my muse, but just thinking about writing the next conversation or plot twist is doable. I can free write that in minutes and fix, flesh, or trash later.

  2. Julia Day says:

    Since my home became an empty nest last year, I’ve started limiting my non-writing household tasks to 15 minutes. I’ll clean for 15. Wash dishes for 15. Fold laundry for 15 minutes. Then done and I go back to writing.

    • Hmmm, I never thought about limiting my cleaning time to 15 minutes. I’m kinda the type to get it all done and then sit down. I’ll need to try this approach. Thanks. WINK

    • Samantha McFarland says:

      This is a great way to tackle anything overwhelming. They say 30-50 minutes and you need a mental break, stand, stretch, go empty the dishwasher,etc. It’s also imperative for our health that we move throughout the day.

      • That is so true. That is one of the things I like about working in the sprints. We write for 20 to 50 mins and then remind each other to move. After all these years, I still fit into my chair. lol

  3. Diane Mayer says:

    Yes, yes, yes! A wonderful post, Autumn, thank you. Here’s a quote that hangs on my fridge to help me when I feel overwhelmed by life while trying to write daily:

    The man (woman 🤓) who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones. —Confucius

  4. Love this! I’m so glad you decided to publish it again!

    • Well, it was totally reworked, but the idea came from the original. Sometimes pulling out the old stuff we have hidden under our beds can light a spark. I’m glad you liked it.

  5. Jacie floyd says:

    Life does tend to be overwhelming and I find myself being reactionary instead of proactive. You’ve given some good tips on ways to get the words down even when other events are demanding my attention. To be fair, I gave up most housekeeping long ago, but with no little ones in the house, it doesn’t get so messy as it used to. I tend to be a fairly low energy individual, so I find your productivity inspiring. Thanks, Autumn!

    • Jackie, I swear I should’ve bought stock in Windex a long time ago. And Crayola. I have finger prints and colored pictures everywhere. LOL Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      I find if I make of lists of things to accomplish, I’m more focus on getting those jobs done and not just anything that crosses my path. Plus, I’m a pretty organized person. (Cough, cough as I look at my neglected office.)

  6. Jennifer Bray-Weber says:

    I do a lot of the same things, Autumn. It’s amazing the productivity that can be done in snatches of time—especially editing and brainstorming. I am a scheduler, it helps keep me sane. I have set days that I dedicate to chores (dusting on Wednesday, grocery shopping on Thursday, etc.). This gives me more time for writing.

    Great post!

    • I wish my life was more structure–I like it when it is–but right now, every day is different. That is why doing a list is helpful– I don’t forget to take mom grocery shopping or to pay a bill or write a blog post. LOL

      Setting a certain time to write does help productivity. Mine has been 6 am-8 am, but that changed when the boys went back to school. Now I need to train myself to get up at 5am and write to 6:30 when their feet must hit the floor. Honestly, it’s been tough, so getting a word in here and there has helped me add to word count.

      • Samantha McFarland says:

        Cynthia – that’s the cool thing about goals. My favorite quote is from Harvey Mackay – it got me through 14 years of college to get my bachelor’s degree (just months shy of my 40th birthday).

        “A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.”

        For me I take this quote one step further. That goal remains (may adapt with life, but remains — Goal to write my life book…maybe adapt to goal to write a fiction story based on my life?)…..the goal remains, but the plan and the deadline have to adapt to life. When I started back to college, I had no idea I was going to lose my father, go through a bitter divorce, have to find a new home for me and my three young boys, go through workman’s comp for an injury that took over a year to heal enough for me to work again, figure out how to support myself and my three young boys….all that changed the plan some and definitely changed the deadline. A lot of life happened in the 14 years including a new husband (who is wonderful and a dad to all four boys – yep, we added another one to the mix) — moved a few times, husband finished his degree…..lots of life. But I did accomplish the goal.

        Life happens, adapt with it and find ways to allow yourself to live along with working on your goals.

        HUGS! You got this!

  7. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    Love this post, AJ! So inspirational for me as am in the midst of several changes- some big; some small – going on in my life at the moment. Should tape this to my screen as am having a terrible time trying to write…I gotta do better:)

  8. Love your post, Autumn! So many excellent tips and reminders.

  9. I LOVE this, AJ! I love the picture it paints of someone who is always writing, even when you aren’t writing. I’m the same way – always making notes and always trying to find ways to live a richer life. Kudos to you for making it work and putting more love into the world!

    • Thanks, Vivi. I think writers work 24/7. No matter what we’re doing were wondering how to use it our experiences, reactions and emotions within our stories.


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