I’ve talked to so many writers who tell me the same thing: “If only I had more time…”
The perception is that you don’t have enough time to do the writing you want to do. Guess what? We all have the same amount of time, and while our circumstances may be different, since writing is important to you, you can FIND time to write.
It’s not really about time; it’s about you and what you do with your day. WHAT? How can that be? You have 24 hours in a day. The amount of time is out of your control. You can’t make your day 30 hours long, change the day when the snow storm arrives, or the time the sun sets. What you can control is how you use those 24 hours. This is a way to create personal power, to take charge of what you can control.
We all have empty times during our days. Empty times = times we’re doing things that, in the scheme of your lives, won’t matter. I’m not talking about times when we’re relaxing, spending meaningful time with friends and relatives, or time we need to do fun things, but time spent watching hour after hour of television or hour after hour of chatting with friends. Times like these when we’re not getting any benefits from our activities.
There are tons of writers who are published – multiple times – who don’t write full time. Yet they organize their days in order to have the writing time they want and need.
Do you plan your writing each day? List what you’d like to accomplish and when this will take place? Prioritize your list? (Remember – think in small chunks and small goals.)
What about the five minutes here and the ten minutes there? What about that twenty minutes later in the day? If you find a small block of time (or several small blocks of time), can you use these to write? Plan your writing for the day?
You can use the five or ten minutes of free time for planning your writing time or times throughout the day, or to jot down information on a new story idea or new character.
What if you got out of bed 30 minutes earlier or stayed up 30 minutes later? Do you carry a small pad of paper with you when you run errands for when you are waiting in a long checkout line? If you take public transportation, do you use the time to take notes, plan your writing, or to just write?
What about the day job lunch time? When the toddler is taking an afternoon nap? Waiting in your car (parked, of course!) to pick up someone? Can you use a digital recorder to write or take notes? What about using a portable word processor, like the AlphaSmart Neo, or a handheld device?
Remember: Even with realistic planning, you might not get everything done. AND THAT’S OKAY! Really – because a plan isn’t set in stone and life is unpredictable. So don’t add stress to your already stressful enough life. Chill! You’ll be planning your writing day again tomorrow.
Today’s Question: How might (or do) you manage to find time during your day to write?