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How to Make Time for Writing in Your Busy Schedule

There are a lot of boons to being an author in the modern age: self, hybrid and traditional publishing has broadened the playing field; social media and email newsletters have taken marketing to a whole new level; and the use of SEO, keyword, hashtag and analytic research has made finding your target audience easier.


The list of benefits to being a modern author can really can go on and on. However, authors still experience challenges and a big one that continues to come up is finding time to write.


Is finding time to write an issue that plagues you?


If so, keep reading for tips on how to find time to write.


Woman writing with child

There are fortunate authors that are able to write for a living, are retired or have all the free time they need in order to write. How blessed they are! However, many of us are still struggling to fit writing time in between family life, work, commutes, and all the responsibilities that come with life.


The struggle is real! but finding time to write doesn’t have to be a struggle.


Time management comes easy to some, but is an acquired skill for others. Maybe you’ve heard that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. This is true. How we manage that time and what we fill it with is the key to finding time to write.


PRIORITY & WILLINGNESS


Making writing a priority - ie: a non-negotiable task - and being willing to write with the time that is found is a foundation to finding time to write.


Exercise: You've made time to read this post, now perhaps you can take some time to record your typical daily schedule without judgment or adjustment. Record everything from that ten minutes you spend scrolling to the time in the shower, driving etc.


You may know exactly how you are spending your time or need to observe it for a day or two to fully recognize what is truly important, how much leisure time you have and what you might be wasting your time doing.


Once the recording is complete, zoom out. Analyze how you are spending your time, again no judgment. Using a set of highlighters, delineate categories into:

  • Must do.

  • Want to do.

  • Didn’t realize what I was doing.

  • Why am I even doing this?


Now answer these questions:


  1. What are the must do tasks? The most important things?

  2. What activities are NOT on the list that you wish were?

  3. What activities ARE on your list that you wish you could make MORE time for?


Was "writing" the answer to any of these questions?


If not, you may not yet consider it a priority. Changing your mindset about writing, and considering it one of the most important things you do, will help you find time.


Now, answer these questions:


  1. What activities on your list are not quite as important or optional?

  2. What activities were you doing unconsciously?

  3. Would you be willing to change your habits and replace some of these time slots with writing? Willingness is key!


Now that you have seen how you are using your time, maybe you have seen blocks that can be filled with writing. Let’s say you realized that an hour in your morning was spent sorting through emails. Or maybe you spend your work breaks scrolling social media. Perhaps you noticed that in the evening you are spending more than an hour watching television. 


In general, there is nothing wrong with any of these activities and downtime is important. However, would you be willing to trade some of that screen time for writing screen time?


Time found!


Are you able to trade doing half an hour of scrolling and perhaps grocery shop every two weeks instead of every week? Add that time up and put it together!


Time found!


ORGANIZED & PREPARED


Have you identified a slot of time that you could possibly trade out for writing? Great! Next let’s take a look at how you can establish new habits.


Maybe you’re a night owl and you spend those late hours binging YouTube videos or talking on the phone. Maybe you’re willing to trade at least one of those hours for writing. Are you ready to change that habit tonight? Answers these questions to move you forward:



  1. How will you ease yourself into writing mode? Will a cup of tea, playlist or your favorite essential oil diffusing put you in the mood? Can you work better when the kids are in bed and the dishes done? When do you need to prepare these things? Make a plan!

  2. Will you write on device or longhand? Do you have these items?

  3. Have you told anyone who might command/demand your time or inadvertently distract you during your chosen writing time? Will it distract them? Sometimes, others take offense to their loved ones working this way in the same room where they are trying to unwind. However, sometimes they won’t care! You can write with your laptop on the couch while your family is watching the latest show on tv or playing a game. The key is to know yourself and your loved ones and how distractions affect your writing. Be respectful to your time, writing and loved ones.

  4. On that note, where do you plan to write? Will the couch work? Many find having some privacy helps keep them focused. Do you have a desk? An office? A bedroom? A closet? Maybe it's a she-shed, the break room at work or your vehicle!

  5. Do you have materials in your chosen location: laptop, computer, notes, pens, research materials, etc? Spending time searching for things takes time away from writing and is a distraction. The clock is ticking. Tapping keys is better than searching for the keys!


It may take a day or a week or more to get into the groove and create this new writing habit. Getting your space, mind and mood prepared for writing will make this transition easier and faster. 


Organizing your materials so they are ready when you are {just like brushing your teeth or making your coffee} will help create muscle memory with your task. Writing will become a part of your daily routine instead of a random act of inspiration or something you just wish you could do if only you could find time!


So have you discovered where and when you can find time to write? Here are some bonus tips:


TOP TEN TIPS TO FIND TIME TO WRITE


  1. Wake up earlier and use that time to write.

  2. Stay up later and use that time to write.

  3. Trade-in some downtime activities: scrolling the internet, watching tv, etc.

  4. Turn your waiting room or pickup line time into writing time.

  5. Work breaks can be turned into writing time.

  6. Trim other tasks. Are you spending a lot of time preparing dinner or putting on makeup or shopping? Cut back and put some of that time toward writing.

  7. Outsource! Is there a task you can pay someone else to do in order to free up time to write?

  8. Be a weekend warrior. Maybe you have all weekends to write in peace. Maybe it’s a full Saturday morning. Mark it on your calendar and take advantage of this time.

  9. Declutter your home and digital space to open up mental and physical space. Unsubscribe from some emails, unfollow some social and streaming. Clean out a closet that could house a desk and a lamp for writing. Making space is just as important as making time.

  10. Be intentional. Once you make writing time, use it wisely and be grateful for the time you have been given.


In conclusion, finding time to write can be daunting and seem impossible, but once we analyze how we are spending our time, we can often make some trades, clear some space and create a writing practice that isn’t rushed, respects our important tasks and people in our life, and most importantly brings value and produces good fruit.


Making a plan, organizing your materials and space as well as preparing your heart and mind will make your newfound writing time a habit you are excited about!


Prioritizing matters. Willingness is key. Preparation is essential.

Now go find time and write on writer!


Woman with child writing on laptop

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