No matter how much we all love writing, it’s one of those things that we just LOVE to procrastinate about, too.
‘I don’t have time.’
‘I’m too tired after work.’
‘My brain’s too foggy.’
‘I’ve got the children to look after.’
‘The house is never quiet.’
Sound familiar? Yes, we’re all guilty.
In fact, Alan Dean Foster, the American fantasy/sci-fi author, once said, ‘The thing all writers do best is find ways to avoid writing.’
But we all get the same 24 hours in a day. And if writing is your passion, then you have to make time for it.
After all, once you start writing you don’t want to stop. Time evaporates when you’re in your happy writing zone.
And there’s nothing quite like that warm wriggle of satisfaction in your tummy when you’ve finished a piece of work. Basking in the glory of your finished blog or a pithy article does wonders for the writer’s soul.
So if you’ve decided to take your writing seriously and you’re determined to make it a regular feature in your daily life, here’s a few suggestions as to how you can make more time to write.
- Build time into your schedule
Do you write best at the crack of dawn or are you a night owl? Building an hour or so into your busy schedule is a great way to begin. Find a time that works for you, when the house is at its quietest. It’s important to stick to this writing slot and don’t surrender it for anything or anyone. If it helps call this your ‘me’ time. Some people go to the gym, take a leisurely bath, meet their friends at the pub or just settle down to watch TV. You can use your ‘me’ time to write.
- Find a suitable setting
As well as finding a quiet space in the house, you also need to think about where you actually write. Do you write better with a computer? Or are you happier with a pen in your hand? Either way, you need a clear space that’s free of clutter and distractions. If you have a dictionary/thesaurus or other reference books then keep them close by.
- Make writing a habit
Set yourself daily targets and deadlines. If you really want your writing to take off, then set yourself monthly goals. Break them down into daily targets and allocate yourself a set amount of time. You will reach the point where you can’t wait for your special writing time, especially if you’re writing about something that inspires you or fuels your passion.
- Vary your writing projects
If you’re prone to procrastinating then build in a safety net. If you find yourself struggling with your novel, then make sure you have another project to fall back on. Start writing blogs, articles or social media posts instead. By directing your focus elsewhere and returning to the original project with a more refreshed perspective, you’re always perfecting your writing craft, too. It’s a win, win situation.
- Fit writing into other areas of your daily life
Use a writer’s notebook and carry it with you everywhere. You may hear snippets of conversations on the train that could come in useful for one of your characters or a blog. Writing down all the sensory effects of a day at the beach can transport you back there in an instant. Even walking the dog can create an atmosphere for inspiration.
If writing is your passion, then do make the time for it. And if you’re not writing, read. It all helps. But most of all, stop procrastinating and start writing. It’s easier than you think.