When I first started writing it was such an exciting time.
I had discovered, much to my amazement, that I might be able to put words together, express my thoughts and bring stories out of my head in a way that made people want to read them, even publish them.
Who would have thought?
This new part of my life was uncharted territory. I had no real expectations because I had never dreamt this was something I could do. I didn't know anyone who was a published writer so I knew nothing about what it would be like. But what I did know was that I had found something that I loved doing and I wanted to spend all my spare time writing.
I never had any expectations of.making a fortune, it was the excitement of being allowed, and encouraged, to create characters and stories. Being able to give myself permission, having a good excuse to spend hours scribbling in a notebook or on the laptop. I was living lives other than my own, crafting words that would take the images in my head and create them in a reader's mind.
This excitement meant that I was writing in the evenings, at the weekend, when we went away for a break or a holiday I would take the laptop and a notepad so that I could write.
It also meant that I would find myself writing late into the night - I particularly enjoyed the quiet, atmospheric feel of the early hours, well past midnight, when darkness enveloped the world outside the circle of light that was my workplace.
That was then, but as time went on things changed and although the excitement of writing and crafting a story is still there my writing life has changed. I spend a lot more time travelling - to events, schools and festivals etc, and there seems to be a whole lot more time spent on paperwork and other things that are not actually writing. I am not unhappy about this because every day I wake up delighted that this is my job, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's just that it's different now.
You can see his great Authors Live event on BBC iplayer here Scottish Book Trust's Authors Live event
He said he used to work all day and then also work in the evenings and at weekends, in fact all the time. There was no definition between working time and non-working time.
Now when he leaves his studio at the end of the day he doesn't take work home, although he said he always carries a notebook for the odd sketch or notes if an idea strikes.
This struck a cord with me and I recall when I made the same decision. When I started writing full time I started to set aside time when I was not writing - because writing, the joyful hobby, had become a full time occupation. It doesn't mean that I don't have ideas or think about writing at these times, but I find that having time away from whatever I am working on means that when I come back to it I approach it with renewed energy. Often the solution to a plot or character problem seems obvious.
I do still sometimes write late into the night but much less often I used to.
Do you have defined non working/writing times?
Linda Strachan writes books for all ages - picture books to teenage novels and a writing handbook Writing for Children