For those authors who write for their day job, it should be relatively straightforward to find time to write, but even they can find that time disappears more quickly than a disapparating wizard.
It is even more challenging for the rest of us, trying to fit writing (and often editing and marketing) into a day filled with a day job, family, trying to keep fit, and a bunch of other commitments.
As a busy working mum, I have become quite adept at finding little pockets of time to get things done. The solution is SCHEDULING.
Here are a few hints and tips to help ensure that you write every day:
- Allocate a specific time to write (for me, this is in the morning, in the half hour before work; or at weekends it’s easier to find an hour in the afternoon)
- Let family know that this is protected time. If possible, try to arrange it for when kids are in school, or watching their favourite program, or – if you’re an early riser – before they’ve made it out of bed). Or arrange for a partner to watch the kids for a while.
- You don’t have to write for several hours a day. For the last 3 years I have been averaging a book per year, and many of those have happened because I’ve written for fifteen-twenty minutes per day on work days.
- Set yourself a target each day. I have a spreadsheet (extract is shown below), and I update it with my word count each day at the end of my writing session.
As you can see on the 5th Feb, I had a difficult day, and only wrote 101 words – definitely better than nothing though, and those 7 minutes were very well spent!
- If you don’t reach your target one day, don’t beat yourself up! Catch up another day, when things are less frantic. I find my weekends are a good time to either get ahead or make up for lost time if I’ve had a difficult week.
- Don’t procrastinate! Turn off social media and other distractions, and focus on writing. Everyone can survive without social media for half an hour!
- If needed, set yourself a short writing exercise to loosen up and get into the flow. An example of this could be writing in an exercise book for a couple of minutes on a set subject, or writing in a gratitude journal.
I hope these tips are helpful. I would love to hear how you fit in time for writing.