Monday, January 30, 2012

Finding Time To Write


Spare time is sparse for me these days and finding time to write has been a challenge.  I can't write for hours every day and achieve an amazing daily word count.  I don't have that luxury, thanks to my day job.  If you're in the same boat as me, don't despair.  You can still write - if you choose to make the time. 

I'm sure if you look really hard at where your time goes and how every thing gets done, you can find a little time to write.  If you want to badly enough. 

After trying a number of things and failing spectacularly at each attempt, I've come to a single conclusion.  You have to make time for the things that matter most and do it in a way that works for you.  It sounds obvious, I know.  But it can be tough because the things that matter most aren't always the easy ones to accomplish.  Your day job can leave you exhausted.  Trying to write and maintain a household is time consuming and hard work.  But it's not impossible.  

Are you an early riser or night owl?  Do you creative juices flow with the rays of the sun or the glow of the stars?  Find out what time of your day is the right time for you.  It doesn't matter if you write first thing in the morning or during your lunch break or after your family is in bed.  Fit it in as you can, but don't go to bed without writing. 

You don't have to write for hours and hours a day to make progress on your WIP.  Choose the number or words or pages you want to write come hell or high water during your writing session, and try to achieve your goal.  It can be one page a day.  It can be one paragraph.  It doesn't matter.  Set the number or words or pages you want to complete during your writing session, and then give it a try.

You don't have to complete your entire WIP in one sitting.  Obviously that's not realistic.  Work to your rhythm and don't stress if it doesn't happen.  There's always tomorrow.

Work towards completing that scene with a specific goal in mind, whether it's to complete a page, enter a contest, or polish off a chapter to show to your critique partner.  Deadlines can be great motivators.

Most of our lives are lived by habits.  Good or bad, they are a way of handling repetitive tasks that would otherwise require a lot of energy.  Habits allow us to focus while pushing the routine into the background.  I've heard it takes 21 times of repeating a task to make it a habit.  So just write.  Today.  Tomorrow.  And the day after that.  Write for 21 days.  Eventually, it'll become automatic.


  1. Excellent post! Finding the time can be difficult, but it can be done. I just wish I hadn't always been so exhausted during school. There was plenty of time for me to get a page in every day if my profs hadnt sucked my energy (and will to live) dry ;)

    How is your day job going?

  2. Natalie - Thanks! My day job is rough. Too much to learn and not enough help. Frankly, it's sucking the life and creativity right out of me. Waking up at 4am M-F is not helping. Ugh! But as stressed and tired as I am, I know I *can* write a few paragraphs every day, whether it's on my lunch break or before dinner. If there's a will, there's a way!

  3. Awww, Im so sorry! If you need to talk, you know my email darling!