Finding time to write is probably the most common problem writers complain of and yet we all have the same amount of time in a day. So, how do some writers seem to churn out the words endlessly while others can only manage a few?
Ask yourself why do you want to write, anyway? Do you want to earn money from it, write full-time or do you just enjoy writing for your own pleasure?
The answer to that question will determine how much time you need to allocate to your writing. If you want to write full-time, obviously you will need a disciplined routine of writing every day, less if you want to write for fun or just earn a bit of extra money on the side. Most people who want to write dream of earning a living from it.
What will you sacrifice?
Finding time to write may mean making one or two sacrifices. What will you be prepared to sacrifice in order to find time to write? The biggest claim on most people’s spare time is television. Getting rid of the television may be a bit extreme but cutting down on viewing hours will change your life. You could set yourself a limit of one or two hours of television a day, or only allow yourself viewing time when you’ve finished your writing. Ask yourself if you are watching TV for the sake of it? What do you actually get out of the programs you watch? Is it just habit?
Make a conscious effort to select only one or two programs that you particularly want to watch over the course of a week. Alternatively, you could reward yourself with a movie at the end of the week if you’ve reached your word goal.
Make Use of Every Minute
If you add up all the spare time you have throughout the day, you’ll most likely be amazed at how much time you actually have. Spare time means the time you would spend doing any non-essential tasks, such as watching television, surfing the internet, playing games or doing jobs that don’t really need doing just to stall getting on with writing.
If you have half an hour, twenty minutes or even ten minutes, you can make use of that time to write. If you can type at thirty words a minute, which is fairly slow and quite achievable, you should be able to do nearly one thousand words in half an hour.
Of course, the process of writing may take longer because you are thinking up the words as you go along, but, even so, if you took twice as long you’d still be getting down one thousand words an hour. Finding one hour of spare time should be doable for most people. One thousand words, every day for a month and you will have a 30,000-word novella!
Plan Your Writing
Knowing what you are going to be writing about will help you make full use of any writing time. If you plan to write for an hour every day but the hour is spread out in three twenty minute intervals, you cannot afford to waste a single minute. When you come to your keyboard or sit down with paper and pen, you will want to start writing straight away and not stop until the twenty minutes is up.
Spend some time at the beginning of each week to make a schedule of what you are going to write and when. Whatever writing tasks you pencil in, you will also need to put down as much detail as you can, so when you come to write, you can get on with it without having to sit and think about it first. Finding time to write doesn’t have to be an impossible task. As long as the desire is there and you are willing to put some planning work in you can find the time to write and maximise that time to the full.
How do you find time to write? Do please leave a comment and let me know.