I’ve noticed that many people say they never have time to write. It can feel that way at times. However, it’s not true 99% of the time. There is always time, but you have to look for it. Writing has to become your priority. Is your favourite T.V. show more important than an hour’s worth of writing time? Are you doing a million other things in a night, like work, school, cleaning, and walking your dog, that you feel you can’t cut out? That’s because you have made them habits, priorities in your life. If you are serious about writing, it has to be a priority, too. If you make the decision to find time to write, then you will.
There may not be an overwhelming amount of time you can write, but use whatever time you have. Try to write every day, if only a small amount. Progress, no matter how small, is progress still. You can’t walk to the store if you aren’t stepping forward. While taking bigger steps is great if you can write that much, smaller steps will still get you there eventually. But, if you aren’t stepping forward at all, it is impossible to get anywhere.
Everyone these days is super busy and it can be hard to manage writing time. However, there is time to be found. These are just a couple tips to get you started on finding time where you didn’t expect.
Is a favourite T.V. show more important than writing? Prioritizing is key. The hour for a single show is an hour you could have used to write a page or two. Those pages add up. You can’t say you have no time for writing if you are watching T.V. and movies every night.
“But, I’m tired!” I hear often. “I can’t write! I need to relax my brain!” This, my friend, is no excuse. Yes, you are tired–most writers probably are. You gotta push through the pain, and write anyway.
Fun Fact: T.V. only makes you more tired. Writing and reading keeps your brain active, and actually ends up giving you more energy! Starting is more than half the battle.
Do you take the bus? Have somebody else driving you? That is a golden opportunity to write. Those ten minutes might not seem like much, but it all adds up. After a week that’s more than an hour of writing time that would go wasted. Bring your phone, laptop, notebook, whatever you need to write with you when you take the bus, or have somebody else at the wheel (I do suggest a phone while on the road–notebooks and computers can get hard to write with when there’s constant bumps and turns).
Maybe you get to work ten minutes earlier than you need to every morning. Maybe you’re the first one to arrive in your class. Maybe you arrived at your child’s school ten minutes before they got dismissed and are waiting for them. Even a five minute wait could turn into some quality writing time. Again, though, it will be hard to use a computer or notebook in most cases. Phones will be better for quick and easy access, as well as their compact size (how can you type on a computer while standing up?).
It may only seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to find time to write if you’re asleep for too many of them. If you aren’t getting enough time to write, but go to bed at 9:30 p.m. and wake up at 8:00 a.m., then you have the option of waking up a bit earlier, going to bed a bit later, or both. For example, if you go to sleep at 11:00 p.m. and wake up for 7:00 a.m., you will still get nine hours sleep. As hard as it may be at first, cutting a couple excess hours of sleep to have writing time can be a good option.
However, that being said, I don’t recommend drinking several cups of coffee and pulling all-nighters. You can’t expect to produce quality work without having any rest. Also, human beings do require sleep to survive. So, unless you are an alien that doesn’t require much sleep, only cut down the excess amounts of time.
Community barbeques, lunch with friends, going to the movies, parties, etc. Now, of course you can’t be expected to eliminate all events and social contact. However, there comes time when you have to put your writing time first. You have to decide whether you really have to see that new movie, or you really have to find time to write. Writing must be a priority, which means if you aren’t getting enough writing time in, something has to give. You wouldn’t ditch a job with set hours and a supervisor to go to a party, or brunch, would you? No, because it is a priority, something you have told yourself you have to show up for. Writing should be the same way. You have to put your hours in, and sometimes that means missing out on some things. By all means, be social, live life, but not at the expense of your writing. Make sure events aren’t constantly in the way of your writing time.
These are just some of the ways you can make time for writing. Once you decide it is a priority, it will happen.
What are some other ways you find time to write? Let me know in the comments!
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With all this in mind, go out and write your masterpiece!