It’s that most magical time of the year: BACK TO SCHOOL.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and love the time I get to spend with them. I’m luckier than many dads in that I have a work schedule that allows me to offset my schedule with my wife’s such that I’m home by the time she has to go to work. So, for good or ill, I’ve always been around my boys during their formative years.

But, despite my lazy parenting style, I can’t say that I get a lot of writing done while we’re clowning, I mean, I’m busy parenting. With many deadlines looming, I was asked when do I find time to write. Honestly, I have no idea. I always have a notepad with me, so I thought through my day.

Early-late morning
-I get to work early and do some free writing (allow me to be clear, since my boss often reads my blog, this is as stuff comes to me while I’m working).
-I listen to books on CD while at work (which loads my brain with words, keeps me in the flow of language, if that makes sense).
-I constantly jot down ideas, plot points, snatches of dialogue (my job has fairly repetitive moments leaving me with a lot of brain time. Which again, to be clear, O boss of nearly twenty years, is part of why l love my job).

Afternoon
-When the kids are home, I flat out bribe them for an hour of quiet time (alternately, read: on non-pay weeks, I randomly ground them … for an hour of quiet time).
-I can usually work in some reading and writing time. This is actually my most productive time (probably because I’ve primed my brain all morning with ideas and words so I’m ready to dive in and know exactly where I want to go).

Evening
-During the summer, Sally will sometimes take the boys swimming or simply let me disappear for an hour or so. This is my second most productive time (in terms of word output). Unless the boys are doing exactly what they are doing now: fighting. Course, that’s matched by my ability to tune them out and keep blogging.

Late night
-I can get some work done, I’m not as productive during this time because it’s the only time Sally and I have relatively undisturbed. Once she goes to bed, however, I can usually squeeze in another hour or so.

So that’s it. The current iteration of how I’m a productive writer. Or try to be. I could probably attack those deadlines harder if I wasn’t, you know, blogging right now.