Find Time To Write: 8 Techniques You Can Start Using Today
Finding time to write is like finding a needle in a haystack—impossible to do without a magnet.
This cheesy metaphor is a great analogy for how many writers feel when it comes to making time to write. With a full-time job, spouse or partner, children, pets, school events or classes, and church events or social gatherings, how can a writer find time to write?
The truth is, it isn’t always easy. That’s why we put together eight strategies you can start today to find time to write, no matter what else you have going on.
1. Keep Track Of Everything You Do In A Week.
Write down all of the activities, including chores, kids’ practices, sports, bible studies, concerts, even time watching TV. Doing this will give you perspective on what you spend your time doing. Once you have your list, you’ll then be able to see where you have a few extra minutes or what you might be able to take out to find time to write.
2. Test Out Writing At Different Times Of The Day
Some authors suggest writing before your day begin. Not only do you get the writing out of the way before you can procrastinate, but it feels good to accomplish something first thing in the morning. This isn’t going to work for everybody, especially those who are not morning people.
It’s also smart to know when you’re most alert. One way you can do this is by not drinking coffee for a few days and keeping track of your mood and energy levels. This helps to determine your most creative time.
3. Write At A Specific Time
Once you find your prime creative time keep it blocked out for writing. If it happens to be at a time you can’t block out for writing, such as the middle of your day job, you should still consider blocking off the same time every day. Many suggest keeping this period of time reserved, despite all the chaos of life, will help form consistent habits.
“Often, creating a ritual where you write in one area can encourage the writing process, as well as continue to build the habit.”
4. Get A Change Of Scenery
Taking a break or finding a new place to write can get the writing process started. You could go to a restaurant, visit a park, or drink a latte at your favorite coffee shop. Even taking a walk is a great idea because it releases endorphins and helps give writers a new perspective, not to mention letting your mind wander.
5. Designate Your Writing Space
If you don’t have an office space, maybe consider how a certain chair or an area of the house could function similarly. Often, creating a ritual where you write in one area can encourage the writing process, as well as continue to build the habit.
6. Turn Off Distractions
In order to write fully, writers need to disconnect from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. They also need to silence their phones and not answer text messages. Studies have demonstrated that distractions make people less productive and focused, so removing distracting devices is important for writing.
Simply taking a walk can help jump-start your imagination and creativity
7. Consider What Is Preventing You From Writing
Many full-time jobs consume all of a person’s time and attention. If this sounds familiar to you, think about whether there is a way to reduce your workload (such as hiring an assistant) or change positions within the company.
This is not a suggestion to quit your day job to pursue writing before you can sustain yourself. However, if your goal is to eventually stop working and write full-time, you might want to consider how your job will fit into that.
8. Don’t Wait For Inspiration
If you wait for the moment you are feeling inspired to write chances are you’ll never get very far. Inspiration can strike at any moment, and often times it’s when you’re nowhere near your computer or notebook. Even if you’re lucky enough to have long stretches of time to devote to writing, you should probably write a little every day and stick to that. Writing as little as 200 words a day, 7 days a week could result in a 73,000-word novel in a year. This is such an insignificant amount of words for a writer that most could achieve it in thirty minutes or less.
Once you’ve built this habit, you can consider setting a higher word count for yourself, always making sure to hit the minimum of 200. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish with this strategy!
Don’t Just Find Time To Write. Make Time!
Some studies have shown that it takes over sixty days to form a good habit or break a bad habit. If you’ve already made the decision that you want to be a writer and pursue that dream don’t let anything stand in your way. Start building these habits now and find the time to write, no matter what obstacles are in your way.
Do you have any tips that work for you? Share them below!