Have you ever struggled to find time to write?
You have all the right
(I wrote that as ‘write’ 😂) intentions, and really, you meant to sit down and write today… but then life crowded in, and good intentions took a bit of a hike.
Or you actually did sit down to write, but then people came along, and the next thing you know they’ve sucked up all your time in doing something else.
How do you find writing time when there doesn’t seem to be any other place for it in your day?
And is it actually as hard as you think?
I’ve been working on writing a bit of a random story. It’s to help me figure out my writing process. I realized that my process needed a bit of a refinement to me specifically when I wrote a thing at random and it came out better than the book I’d been working on for months. (I’ll write a full post on that eventually)
But something huge that I noticed was that, when I really wanted to work on my story, I could find the time.
Actually, find isn’t the right
(I wrote ‘write’ again).
I made it.
Time for the case study part of this post! I love doing these. I’m just such a great example of how not to do stuff.
I’d hurry through my morning; get ready for the day, doing chores and some school-related things, and set up for school. While working on The Storm Inside, I would usually get writing sometime around 8:20 in the morning, trying to squeeze a bit in before school. I would get about 1000 words out of myself before dashing off to do something else – namely, school, but sometimes just random things instead. (checking my email, for instance)
Things started getting more tricky when the second semester of school started. My earliest class time became 8:40 in the morning, which cut down the time I had to work significantly.
I still managed to drag about 500 words out of myself before school time, but as you can see from the progression of my blog posts during that time, I was noticing that I didn’t actually want to write that book.
After setting The Storm Inside aside for the time being, I happened to start writing out a random story. It spiralled into an 80,000 word story that I wrote in about 3 weeks.
For context of how mind blowing that was, it took me about 4 months to write 100,000 for The Storm Inside.
I had never written so much so quickly in my life. That was what made me decide to try and change things. Because, seriously, who writes 80k in just 3 weeks? I certainly never had before. Something was obviously up.
The big difference I noticed was that I was so excited to write that I made time. It wasn’t just in the morning anymore. It was in the short the time after lunch and before I started up school again, and in the evenings after I’d finished my English homework. During the weekends and whenever I grabbed a snack, I seemed to be writing.
How was I suddenly finding this time to write when it never had been there before?
Who You Should Write For
I wrote an entire post on this once (which you can check out here) but here’s the general gist:
You’ve got to write for you as well.
Something I started making a bigger priority at the beginning of March before this whole corona virus stuff really started affecting my life was my own happiness.
And I found a lot of it in that random story I was writing.
It was so utterly different from how I’d felt writing The Storm Inside. When I really wanted to write my story, I was basically doing everything in my power to be able to.
You don’t always get to have the biggest chunks of time to write. You can’t always sit down for hours at a time. But sometimes just 15 minutes can be enough.
Here’s a few questions you can ask yourself to try and find/make that time you need:
What can I do faster?
If you drag your feet through doing some certain things, that’ll eat up your time. If you do it more quickly, you’ll have more time left to work on things you want to (aka writing) afterwards.
I personally picked up the pace during the morning and afternoon; I wanted to be able to sit down and write for a bit before I had to do school again, so I force myself to hurry through all the things I had to do.
What do you not need?
Do you really need to watch that TV show? Or scroll through social media? It can really eat up your time.
This doesn’t 100% count as an example (since I didn’t choose this myself, and it’s not making room exactly for writing), but on Wednesdays, I don’t have English class. I’m usually shocked by how much more homework I can get done within the time that I would usually spend sitting in class. Class time is about 45 minutes; this just goes to show that you don’t have to cut something huge out of your routine to have a big impact on your writing.
What really matters to you?
Much like trying to find happiness in your writing, you should find happiness in whatever you do. If something isn’t fulfilling you or doing anything for you, then do you really need to be doing it?
How Important is Writing to You?
That’s a big question. If you had to rank what you spend your free time on – writing being one of these things – where would it land?
The more serious you are about writing, the more seriously you will work to make the time for it. If it’s more of a hobby, you can be more relaxed about it.
However, most people who read this blog are probably serious about their writing.
So, here’s my advice for you:
Find that time you write.
And guard it jealously.
There’s a joke my sister and I like: people call themselves ‘bookworms’, and they like dragons. There’s basically this type of dragon called a ‘wyrm’, so we’ll say ‘bookwyrms’ instead. In this case, you are a bookwyrm. You’re a dragon guarding your treasure, and that is your time.
If someone is trying to interrupt you, sometimes you have to be direct and just ask them to wait a few more minutes for you to finish. If you keep writing at the same time every day, then people around you will start to get used to the time you write at, and just leave you alone without even thinking about it.
The crux of the matter isn’t finding time to write; it’s making it. If you can prioritize your writing, then you can make that time.
Before you can write, you need the time to write! It doesn’t have to be much; you’ve got this. 😃
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When do you like to write?
Do you enjoy writing the story you’re working on?
What’s the most you’ve ever written in the shortest amount of time?