Sometimes it feels as if there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to get done. We have families, jobs, responsibilities. You know you want to write more, whether it’s that novel you’ve been picking away at or even just blogging on a regular basis. But how do we find the time to pursue our writing goals when we’re busy with so many other things?
I often hear from my coaching clients that they are just “too busy to write on a regular basis.” They want to accomplish their dream of being a published writer, but can’t find the time to finish their project. We all find ourselves in that position at some point during our writing career. And that’s okay - if it’s only on occasion. What’s not okay is to stay there, and use it as an excuse to never fulfill our dreams.
When I’m first working with a client, we begin by identifying what areas of their schedule can be changed, eliminated, or tweaked in order to provide for more writing time.
Once we’ve identified the problem areas, we develop mini goals that are reachable. This helps to develop a system and a routine. Routines are easier to follow once they become habits. Developing a habit takes discipline, courage, and a lot of hard work. You’ll hear some people say it takes 21 days to develop a habit, others say 30, but you’ll know when it has become a habit for you, a part of your daily routine.
Once your writing becomes a part of your daily routine, you’ll be well on your way to completing your writing project! (I would also suggest finding an accountability partner, whether it’s a writing coach, a friend, or a spouse. It is highly motivating to check in with someone as you complete your mini goals.)
3 WAYS TO FIND TIME TO WRITE
1. EXAMINE YOUR SCHEDULE: What are you doing on a daily basis that can be completely eliminated? Look at how much TV you are watching, time on the internet, shopping. Think of things you do that are not essential and eliminate or shorten the time spent on one of those activities and replace that time with writing.
Another option is to wake up an hour early or go to bed an hour late and dedicate that time to writing.
As you examine your schedule, you may be surprised to find out how much time you really do have to dedicate to your writing.
2. USE NON-WRITING TIME TO BRAINSTORM: When you’re unable to sit at the computer and actually write, brainstorm. Think about your project, research (on your phone in a waiting room for example).
Brainstorming is a very big part of the writing process and one that can be done away from the computer while doing other tasks such as exercising, waiting in line, driving in the car, etc.
3. CARRY A NOTEBOOK: Try carrying a notebook around with you. I carry a small Moleskine notebook that fits right in my jacket pocket. If I come up with an idea for a scene or a character, I can quickly jot it down.
Another great option is the dictation feature on your phone. Most phones have a record option that allows you to record your idea and transfer it to your computer at a later time.
If you are passionate about pursuing your writing dream, then it is possible to find the right solution for you.
What are some methods you use to find more time to write? Share in the comments below.