Thursday, April 3, 2014

Finding Time To Write

Rule Number 1 - Don't give up your day job.
Rule Number 2 - Take time each day to write and work on your craft.
Rule Number 3 - Find time to do #1 and #2 as well as maintaining relationships, keeping up sleep, exercising and eating properly.

Yeah, right Scott!

I get it! Writing takes up a lot of time out of your life and scheduling everything is tough. But successful writers find a way to do it and they do it all of the time. Unless you want to live in complete poverty, win the lottery to retire for life, or have a spouse that makes a ton of money for you to have the luxury of writing all of the time, you have to find a way to make it work.

One of the first things I tell writers to do is to block in your writing time directly into your schedule. The odds are you will not be able to have 6-8 hours a day, but shoot for 1-2 hours to start with. Put this in with your work schedule, eating and certainly sleep. You will likely start taking out some of that time you would normally spend watching Walking Dead, but that is OK.

Now, tell your friends and family of your writing time. Make it clear to them that you will be using this time to write and you cannot be disturbed. Your kids can do without you for a period of time. Besides, they want the freedom.

Shuffling your schedule around might also be an approach to take. For example, one of my clients who is an instructor at a college normally had her office hours before her classes. She would then do her writing after classes were out. To get some additional time, she flipped those two around. Now she gets up and, instead of rushing into the office for the office hours, she starts with her writing. That time in the morning before the kids get up is now that writing time, combined with the old office hours. At the end of the day, she finds she has actually gotten more time to write. Not only that, if there are days when she doesn't need to have office hours at work, she can use that time for some more writing. Not bad!

The other approach is to consider moving away from your computer. Write some on legal pads and notebooks. This might give you time to write when you are at the doctor's office or waiting for the kids. Sure, it isn't the full 2 hours, but you learn to work it in.

So, how do you find the time to write? How do you make it your daily writing practice. Let us know! Share your ideas!

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