Finding time to write can be almost as challenging as writing itself. Unless your Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, or some other famous author who makes their living on books alone, you probably have a day job. And kids. And drama. And a million and one other things that make it impossible to jot down a sentence, much less a page. But there are ways to squeeze in some writing time and I thought I’d share those that have worked for me.
When The Rooster Crows
For years I’ve held jobs that require me to work from middle of the afternoon to well past dark. By the time I get home it’s late, I’m tired, and–quite frankly–I don’t have much energy to write. To combat this I get up–usually before dawn–and put in about two hours of writing three times a week. This–done before I get to anything else–insure that I have a large chunk of uninterrupted time to work on my manuscript and helps me to make progress especially when I can’t write much on the days in-between. This process allowed me to finish a rough draft in about nine months.
Take Your Notebook To Work
Everybody’s jobs differ so your ability to follow this one may vary at best, but you can find ways to put it to use. Whenever I’m working on a rough draft I take the aforementioned notebook, get to work ten to fifteen minutes early and jot down a paragraph or two. I eat dinner after I get off of work–I live an hour away–and use that fifteen to twenty minutes to perform another brief snippet of writing. It might not sound like much, but over time your sentences accumulate and before you know it you have a story.
Use Any And All Spare Moments
Outside of your prescribed writing time there are planting of what I call Five-minute Opportunities to jot down a sentence or two. Waiting for a movie to start? Use the flashlight on your phone and start writing. Resigned to a long, boring drive across the country? Brace yourself and write. Waiting for the kids to come down the stairs for dinner, despite calling them five minutes ago? Write a sentence. This is a method that can either be used in conjunction with time specifically set aside for writing, or as your primary means if your hectic life doesn’t allow for such large gaps of leisure. Either way, you’ll build your story and one day find yourself staring at a complete manuscript.
Finding the time to write in todays hectic lifestyle can be a monumental challenge. There’s a lot demanding our attention and writing isn’t always at the top of that list. However, whether its just a hobby or something that you aspire to as a living, there are ways to find time to write. You just need to find the method that works for you.
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no claim to it.