The biggest challenge to the writing life: time

This past week, my stress level around writing has amped up quite a bit. It’s not even the writing that’s causing the problem per se, it’s the amount of energy I have for writing after I’ve gone to work for 8+ hours. Also, being able to get some work in shape to be considered for publishing would be nice. It’s just a slow going road with a full time job.

I know this is a constant problem with authors… even ones that are published and have book deals. When I see twitter posts like this one from Seanan McGuire, it makes me wonder if I’m cut out for the constant demands of simultaneously providing for family and satisfying the desire to write. I can’t imagine not writing, but I also wonder how long I can keep this pace up before I burn out and can’t write.

And holy cow, don’t even get me started on reading. Right now, sadly, I’m reading about one book every two weeks.

The solutions as I see it are as follows from best to worst ideas:

  1. Wake up earlier (and go to bed earlier) – I get a lot done in the mornings, so this is a desirable thing. Right now I go to bed around 11:30/12 and wake up around 6:15. Maybe if I went to bed around 10 or 10:30 then I could get up around 5?
  2. Sleep less – I average about 6.5 hours a night and it’s already not enough.
  3. Have less relaxing time – hard for me to stomach. I’m on a schedule now where I sit at a desk for 10 to 12 hours a day. Not taking an hour after dinner to just do nothing feels very challenging.
  4. Have a pillow to scream into every 27 minutes.
  5. Quit my job – screw all responsibility!

What do you do to make more time in your life for writing? I’m especially interested in responses from  folks who have to work full time or have children that they care for full time.