So, you want to be a writer, but do you have the time? Today’s world has become increasingly more hectic and constant pulls in every direction can leave you frazzled. Can you possibly add one more thing, like writing, into your schedule? After all, writing time is an unrealistic luxury, right?
Like many others, I struggle to find time to chase my dream. Constant interruptions cloud my day. Ding! It’s the dishwasher. Ding! The mailman is at the door. Ding! The dog wants out. ( Yes, she really does ring a bell). Ding! The dryer is finished. Ding! Ding! DINNNGG! The dog sees a squirrel. Need I go on?
Let’s face it, for most people, time is limited and writing is hard. Staring at a blank computer screen, searching for the perfect word, letting the world see your work…it’s all terrifying. It’s risky. And sometimes, it’s enough to make you give up before you even get started. Then the biggest problem creeps into your mind. “Can I justify spending time doing something for myself?” In a word, YES! But how do you free up a tiny sliver of time when there is none left in the day?
What if I told you, it is possible to write daily? I’ve listed some tips to help push you in the “write” direction. Hopefully, you’ll be completing that novel before you know it!
- Set goals. How much do you want to accomplish per day or week? Is it a word count, finishing a manuscript in progress, editing your work, brainstorming for ideas, researching factual details for a story idea? Everyone is different. Don’t compare your goals to other writer’s goals. Comparison kills your creativity!
- Set a timer. Whether it’s 30 minutes or 2 hours, turn off your phone television AND social media (Those cat and dog videos are addicting)! When you are on the timer, make that specific writing time, no interruptions. This might mean going into a room and closing the door or a trip to the library or coffee shop.
- Decide what you are willing to give up. Is it your favorite television show? Your bubble bath? An hour of sleep? Anywhere you can shave off some time, take it! You’d be surprised what you can accomplish in as little as 15-30 minutes.
- Have a dedicated writing space. It doesn’t have to be a fancy, schmancy office. Sometimes a corner of the kitchen table will do just fine. Claim it as your own. Many times, a routine atmosphere will make your writing come more freely, plus you don’t have to figure out where you’re going to write. That can drive the desire to squeeze in just a bit more time on that manuscript.
- Schedule your writing time. Are you more mentally alert first thing in the morning? Maybe you need to set your alarm an hour earlier and spend that time writing before everyone else is awake. Maybe you need to stay up later at night. Make an appointment. Yes, write it on the calendar and stick to it.
- Take advantage of every minute. Even as busy as we are, there’s a lot of time we spend waiting. Waiting for your kids in the carpool line at school, waiting at the doctor’s office, waiting at the drive-thru, etc. Carry a notebook and put that wasted time to good use. You can even dictate into your phone while you’re driving. make wasted time, quality time.
- Remind yourself, YOU ARE WORTH IT! The dishes, laundry, vacuum, etc. will wait.
- Have an accountability partner or critique group. You’ll push yourself to get more accomplished if you know others are depending on you.
- If you don’t FIND writing time, MAKE it! If it’s important to you, you WILL make it happen!