Finding time to write can be THE most difficult part of the whole writing process. You have an idea, you’ve plotted it out in your head, and you just need to find a way to get it onto paper, but who has time? I get it. I’m not only busy with life and family and friends, but I also have the attention span of a 5 year old. Here are a few tips on how I found the time to write my first novel.
1. Make it Quick
I follow a writer on Twitter that often tweets things like, “Just finished 18,000 words today. I’m on a roll!”. Seriously. More power to her, but that’s not how I roll. Luckily, I took a class with Claire Cook a few years ago and she said that she writes 2 pages per day, every day. No more, no less. It doesn’t take long, but it keeps the story moving forward, and with such a short goal, it’s not intimidating. So even if I’m tired and it’s bedtime, I can still motivate myself to get those 2 pages done.
2. Anytime is Good
Speaking of bedtime, I used to believe this lie, “I can only write in the morning.” Yes, it is still my favorite time and when I think most clearly, BUT I can write at noon, at five and even at midnight. I know this because when I went on my Homemade Writing Retreat, I wrote feverishly at all hours. Your best time to write may not be available, so write anyway.
3. Follow the TV Schedule
Don’t tell me there’s not ONE show you watch on television. I like a bunch of shows, Scandal, Once Upon a Time, Grimm. Guess what? They are all off on summer hiatus. The hour that I used to spend watching those shows is still available. So instead of filling it with a lame rerun, use that hour for something good. (I watch a lot of summer shows too, and they are off during regular season so it works all year long!)
4. Set the Alarm
And I don’t mean early. Gah. Who wants to get up at 5 a.m. and write with the chickens? Find the time in your schedule that you have open, say Thursdays at 9 PM, and set your alarm as a reminder. That little beep calling “Just two pages” may be motivation enough to get you in front of the laptop.
5. Stop Reading about Writing and Write
I have a lot of books on writing. Yes, they are good and encouraging and wonderful in many ways, but sometimes they are an excuse. It’s so much easier to READ about writing than actually write. Same thing with blogging. In the time it’s taken me to write this post, I could be done with my two pages!
Be encouraged, find the time, do what you were meant to do! We need to hear your story.