Hey Bookish People,
Today I want to talk about how I get all my writing done. One of the biggest barriers that people claim get in the way of their writing is a lack of time. The secret is that no one really has the time unless they make it. There are a million things that come up every day that can take the place of writing. Let’s talk about how we can get around that.
This will sound familiar to those of you who read my post on how I wrote a million words in one year. You have to promise yourself that this writing goal is a priority. That means that some days the dishes won’t get washed, the laundry will pile up, and you’ll miss a few Netflix binging sessions. Writing has to be a priority or else you will never feel the need to make the time.
2. Wake Up Earlier
Or stay up later. This isn’t a feasible tip for everyone, and I understand this, but it if you don’t have circumstances that prevent you from doing it then you’ll find delightful writing time before anyone else has woken up. I happen to be a productive morning person so it’s 5am until 7am for me. If you’re a night owl then you’ll want to schedule some time to sit and write after everyone else has gone to sleep. It might take some tweaking of your schedule and some extra coffee but I think this helped more than anything.
3. Put Down Your Phone
I think that we should put down our phones more often. Please note that I am guilty of too much screen time myself (there’s a new Harry Potter mobile app guys, I’m doomed). We reach for our phones for any little reason because they have done such a good job of conditioning us to interact with them. Bored? Phone. Anxious? Phone. Conversational lull? Phone.
Put it down. Leave it in another room. Turn it off. Reduce the time you spend poking at the screen, or declare a phone free day, and see how much extra time you end up with. I think you’ll be amazed. Use the extra time to get your word count up.
4. Get Creative
You can find little bits of time to write if you look carefully. I’ve written on buses, dictated bits of my novel while washing dishes, and jotted down notes on long dog walks. Find the little pieces of time in your day that feel wasted and get creative about how you can utilize them. Lunch breaks, waiting in line at the store, sitting on hold. Have a pen handy and get to work.
In the book Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert puts it another way; have an affair with your writing. She points out that people who have affairs seem to find any opportunity to sneak off for a few moments with the object of their affection. It doesn’t matter how busy they are. Why not treat your writing like the forbidden lover? Sneak off for a few minutes and give it all of your attention. Look forward to it. Your ideas are worth sneaking around for.
5. Tell Yourself You Can
The other single biggest obstacle to writing, and finding the time, is the belief that you’re not a good enough writer. It gives you an excuse to be too busy and to give up when you sit in front of your computer trying to put something together. Tell yourself that you’re ready because you are. We all have unique stories to tell no matter where on our journey we are.
Lack of belief in ourselves can contribute to the dreaded ‘writers block.’ When we’re looking at the blank page with no idea of what to write we’re not being honest with ourselves and we’re wasting precious writing minutes, hours, and days.
We’re full of infinite ideas. We’re natural problem solvers and storytellers. The real problem is that we don’t think what we’ve come up with is good enough. Push past it and put something on paper (even if you don’t think it makes any sense). You can always change it later! Tell yourself that if your solution to the problem doesn’t work out that you can edit your work and you’ll get more done overall.
Now that you know how I get it all done I hope that you get some writing time in today. Remember to find the small chunks of time to sneak extra word count in and maybe you’ll find some longer stretches of time if you give technology a break.
Before you go, this blog covers things that writers and aspiring published authors might find helpful. I talk about my tips and strategies for getting it all done, review books on business and self improvement to help you sort through it all, and provide my insights into using social media to optimize your reach as a writer and gain in edge in the publishing world. If that sounds interesting to you please follow the blog and check out the Instagram account.