Often what stops up the first-time author from getting published is the simple fact that he has not had time to write his book. We all lead such crazy, busy lives these days it’s a wonder anyone can actually find the time to pursue his or her passion. So where do you actually find the time to write?
Notice, the title of this blog is making time to write⎯not finding time to write. And that’s the key. You will never find the time. Time will always be elusive, and that which screams the loudest will command your attention. The key to fitting writing into your life is to make it a priority of your life.
5 ways to make time to write
1. Get up one hour earlier
Many writers find the early morning hours to be almost magical. The sun is not yet fully up⎯and neither is anybody else. It’s just you and your computer⎯or a notebook. Plus, your mind is not yet weighed down by the demands of the day. I know I do my best writing while I’m still “in bed,” having my morning coffee and writing longhand (that’s how I wrote this blog.) And, that’s how I love to edit my author’s manuscripts, too — when my mind is fresh and open.
2. Go to bed an hour later
If getting up earlier makes you want to hit the snooze button, maybe you’re more of a night owl. Some people do better after everyone’s gone to sleep and they have nothing but the crickets to keep them company.
If Monday-Friday is just too filled with the stuff of life, carve out some time on the weekend. But make sure you’re writing every weekend, or you’ll lose momentum.
3. Put it on your To Do list
If writing is not on your list of things you have to do, it won’t get done. Why? Because you haven’t made it a priority enough to put it on your list. Let’s face it—how many of us actually get everything done on our To Do lists? If writing is not even on there, it’s going to be way at the bottom of the pile.
4. Find a private place to write
If you live with others and you’re trying to write on a computer in the family room or on a laptop in the kitchen, you’ll never be left in peace. Find a separate room where you can go and shut the door. Make it known that you are not to be disturbed except in the case of an emergency.
5. Carry a notebook or small digital recorder with you
Maybe all you can really grab is five minutes here, five minutes there. Make the most of it. Write your ideas down in your notebook, or talk into your recorder for transcribing later. But avoid multitasking. To be a good writer, you need to put your full attention on your words, not share it with driving or walking the dog or watching your kid’s soccer game. Do those other things fully, with purpose. And that’s really the point. When you live your life on purpose—not being a little bit here and a little bit there—you will free up all sorts of time—and space in your brain—to get your writing done. Who knows — maybe you’ll finally finish your novel!
What other ways have you found to carve out more time to write? Share your tips in the comments section.