How to find the time to write?
If you don’t make a living of your writing (yet), it can be hard to find the time to write. We’re living a very busy lifestyle. However, if you look carefully or organize your time well, it may turn out you have more time than you think.
1. Schedule it
Pretty much that’s it. You have to consider the writing time in your week plan, just like you plan a business meeting. Look through you schedule and find an hour or two when you can focus and write. If one hour seems impossible, find at least half an hour a day. It’s important to start. As Mark Twain said: ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started’. Don’t think that you can sit once a week and write for a few hours. First, if you’re not used to such sessions, your brain will be close to exploding of effort. It’s difficult to remain creative for a long time. Second, let’s be honest: if you can’t find half an hour a day in your busy week, will you be able to find a few hours? Even during a weekend there will be some dinner with friends, kids party or anything else that will make long writing impossible. It’s better to make small steps, but do them regularly. So just take your planner and schedule new meetings: meetings with creativity.
2. Get up early or stay up at night
This is something many writers do, especially at the beginning of their career, when they also have to go to work. James Patterson said that he was getting up at 5 am, every day, to write his first novel: The Thomas Berryman Number. Of course, he didn’t feel like it, but it was the only time when he could write. An advantage of getting up early or staying up at night is that other people sleep at that time, so nobody should interrupt you. What time should you choose: early morning or late evening? It all depends from you. You know yourself and you know when you work best. Some people are the most creative in the morning and they simply can’t focus when they are tired. Others – the opposite. Like owls, they wake up when it gets dark. Also, in the evening some unpredicted thing may happen, like a sudden visit of your mother in law. Anyway, it’s up to you. Simply choose the most suitable time and make writing your new routine.
3. Use the time that you have
If you analyze your day, it may turn out you have a lot of time for writing that you haven’t considered. Do you go to work by train? That’s perfect! The way there and back is your time for writing! Not for sleeping, not for reading, not for looking through Facebook – writing! Count how much time you spend in train daily, or monthly. That’s plenty of time! Exactly. If you don’t go to work by train, try to find another time that you could convert into your creativity flow.
4. Organize your day
Studies show that if you write down things to do and then write how much time each activity will take it’s very probable it will take exactly that amount of time. Of course, you can’t exaggerate, be realistic, but this is a good method of controlling your time. If you set a goal of finishing housework within 2 hours you won’t waste your time on checking Facebook every 2 minutes. Effect? Instead of cleaning the house for 4 hours you really finish within 2. This means you have 2 hours to write. Magic, isn’t it?
5. Make an experiment
Someone made an experiment to show how to make things that you don’t feel like doing. He had this habit of watching tv right after coming back from work, which made him unproductive in other fields. So he put out the batteries from the remote control and left them in another room. When he came back home the next day and sat on a sofa, he realized, he couldn’t turn on the tv. But he didn’t feel like going to take the batteries, so he took a book from the nearest table. And that was the point! His other goal was to do some morning exercises, but he never felt like doing them. So he went to bed dressing his sports clothes and put his trainers right next to his bed. When he woke up in the morning and sat on the bed, he put his feet straight into them. He was ready to make some sport. Changing his mind and doing something else would require additional activity of changing the clothes and shoes that seemed to hard, so he indeed went running. What’s the point of these stories? If you want to write, but there’s always some other activity stopping you from doing that, try to make the same experiment: put out the batteries, hide your favorite magazine or do anything of that kind. It’s important that when there comes the time for it, writing is the easiest of the possible things to do.
6. Turn it into a challenge
Make a commitment to yourself, that you will write x pages a week and try to achieve it. Let’s say, every Sunday evening you have to make a summing up and check the results. For some, such commitment is enough. If it’s not for you, make a deal with a friend. If you’re both writers, you can even make a challenge, who writes more. In other case, you can make a deal with your wife that you’ll only go to cinema on weekend, if you write the right amount of pages. You don’t want to make your wife angry, do you? Or maybe your friend is on a diet: make a deal that you write some amount of pages or words and in the same time they make x exercises or loose x kilograms. Who loses, pays the award. Isn’t it motivating?
You see? Finding the time for writing is possible. You just have to sit and actually do it and instead of finding all the excuses of the world. So ready, set, write!