How to Get More Writing Time
"I wish I had more time to write." We receive so many e-mails from people who tell us they love writing but just can't find enough time.
There is no way to add more than 24 hours to a day, but there are ways to squeeze writing time out of those 24 hours. Here are some ideas.
Wake up earlier.
Even just 15 minutes earlier. Those extra 15 minutes a day become your writing time.
Many writers like to work first thing in the morning, when the house is quiet, when their minds are still a little dreamy from sleep, before the daily interruptions start. There's something wonderful about the privacy of those early morning hours when you're the first one awake. Reserve that time for yourself.
Give up television.
Or Facebook. Or whatever you use instead of television or Facebook to fill blank moments in your day. It's amazing how much time that can free up to do other things.
Set realistic goals.
So, maybe you can't dedicate even an hour a day to writing. That's no reason not to write.
How much time can you afford? If you write for just a few minutes, but do it every day, all of those minutes add up.
Think about this: If you write only 100 words per day, every day, in two years you could have the draft of a novel. If you write 200 words a day, you can finish your draft in just a year.
Write on the go.
Write in waiting rooms and in queues; write while waiting for something to finish cooking; write while waiting for almost anything. Write on the train or the bus; while you're driving, work on stories or poems in your head and dictate your ideas into a recording device. Get very creative about where and when you write.
Learn to say no.
If your friend needs you to drive her to the hospital, you say yes. But try to organize social engagements and small obligations so that they don't interfere with your writing time. And sometimes, it's okay to say no.
If you're shy about telling people you're writing, then you can always just say, "I'm working on a project" (if people press you for details, you can say, "I'm not ready to talk about it yet.").
Decide what's important to you.
As the writer Annie Dillard said, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
How are you spending your days? One day, write down, hour by hour, where your time is going. What changes do you want to make? How badly do you want to write?
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
- Mary Oliver
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