When you start out on the long journey to becoming a published author, the biggest struggle is often actually finding time to write. Life just gets in the way. Whether it be a newborn baby, a full-time job, or just an endless list of things that are deemed as more important, writing often gets put to the bottom of the to-do list. Here’s how you can change that and make writing a part of your day to day life.
Use your dead time to write
Finding time to write is difficult when you’re time poor, but we’re often not as time poor as we might think. If you look at your daily routine you might find ‘dead’ pockets of time. Perhaps its travel time, time spent waiting, or maybe when you’re queued in a line.
Some pockets of time are clearly more valuable than others: if you’re spending hours a week traveling on the train to and from work or uni – that is dead time. Use that time for yourself to write, and justify it as a way to set yourself up for a productive day or unwind after work by doing something you enjoy. Even if you drive to and from work you can still utilise that time. Use a voice recorder to take down your ideas, plan out your plot and characters, or even dictate chapters to yourself.
Finding time to write can also involve getting out your phone while you’re waiting for your morning coffee, standing around to pick someone up, or sitting in the doctors waiting room, or even during your lunch breaks! You might not be able to comfortably write out a full chapter in those stolen minutes but it keeps your head in your story and might give you time to plan out plot holes or character arcs. The point is to write whenever you get the chance.
When you see your writing as something more than a hobby, (maybe even as a potential career) then it becomes easy to justify spending time on it. By classifying your writing as something that is important to you, you’ll see how much easier it is finding time to write. You’ll even find yourself rearranging your schedule to place writing at the top – or at least not at the bottom – of your to-do list. You might even start prioritising it over watching tv, going out to lunch, and even sleep!
While it may be difficult to communicate this to others, if you start to take it seriously, they will too. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about telling others about your writing goals, to help in keeping yourself accountable. Because the more you tell people, the more people you have cheering you on, asking you about it, and keeping you on track.
Find your ideal writing time
Do a little self-discovery and find out if you’re a night owl or a morning bird. If you’re a night owl you might stay up late when you’re feeling creative and inspired by your day. I love this article that talks about nighttime writing saying,
“The reason that most – “good” writers – choose to write at night, is because their mornings, afternoons, and early evenings have filled their bodies with inspiration.”
But some people are morning people, they prefer to get up early when they feel fresh and clear to sit down and churn out their pages. Or maybe their nighttimes are just too busy to sit and write. So, figure out which suits you best by trying a little of each until you decide which works!