Finding time to write – Shari Low

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By Shari Low

I didn’t write a word of fiction until I was 30. Oh, I’d talked about it. Moaned about it. Swore I’d get round to it. But, working as a sales team manager, out on the road, clocking up thousands of miles a week, there simply wasn’t the time. ♥

So I moaned about it for a while longer, until I hit thirty, had an early mid-life crisis, and my very lovely husband pointed out the obvious.

“I just want to be a writer,” I wailed.

“Then it might help if you stop going on about it and actually write something,” he said.

I hate it when he’s right.

Determined to meet the challenge, every evening for the next fortnight, I’d finish work around the usual time of 8pm, check into whatever hotel I was staying in, open my laptop, and type until I fell asleep in the early hours of the morning.

Two weeks later, I had twelve thousand words of a novel, a very rough synopsis, and a tiny twinge of hope.

I sent my early-mid-life crisis project off to a few publishers and agents, and I struck it lucky. There were several rejections, but one said yes. And one is all you need.

More importantly, I learned a lesson. If you wait for the perfect time to write, it’ll never come.

Now, I have a husband (the same one – and no, I’ve never told him he was right), a family and a labradoodle, and as well as penning novels, I write two weekly newspaper columns, features and book reviews.

There’s never enough time.

I write for an hour before I take the kids to school, I write while they’re out, and then I write again at night when they’ve gone to bed. Sometimes I only manage a few hours a day, sometimes I rack up sixteen hours at the keyboard, rotating my ankles to avoid a DVT. I write when I’m a passenger in the car. I write in the bath. I write on airplanes, in the garden, in my bed, in car parks outside sports centers while my teenagers are inside.

I write.

There’s an old saying that a long journey starts with a single step.

I’ve found that a book starts with a single word, and then lots more whenever and wherever you can manage them.

Shari Low’s seventeenth novel, The Story Of Our Life, is out now from Aria.

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