Challenge: Find More Time to Write

Hello, and welcome to lesson seven of the Writer Starting Guide series!

In this lesson, I’m going to talk about how to find more time and space to write. After all, one of the hardest challenges many of us writers face is actually finding the time to write. So here we go!

There are two parts to finding more time to write. The first part is, you guessed it, making time. This is the juggling of responsibilities and hobbies to find any time for writing. It’s the part most people think of when they think of making time to write.

The second part is what I like to call, making space. This is more about find the right time, and protecting that time.

Make time for writing

Where is your time going?

Before you can find more time to write, you first need to figure out where all your time is going. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many hours a day do you spend watching tv?
  • How many hours a day do you spend browsing the internet?
  • How many hours a day do you spend on social media?
  • Are there any people you waste time with?
  • What is your biggest time waster?

What are your writing goals?

Now that you know where you’re time is going, what would you like to be doing with that time instead? What are your writing time goals? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much time would you like to spend writing?
  • How many days a week would you like to write?
  • What time of day would you like to write?

Where can you make cuts to make room for writing?

Now the hard part comes in. Where can you make cuts in your day, or where can you take advantage of time, to write? This is something you’ll have to figure out on your own. Every person’s schedule is different. However, here are some ideas worth trying:

  • Get up early to write.
  • Stay up late to write.
  • If you take public transportation to work, write during your commute.
  • Write during your lunch break.
  • Take a couple hours to yourself on the weekends to write.
  • Make yourself write *before* you watch TV every night.

Make space for writing

Find your creative time

I talk a bit about this in lesson one, but I’d like to revisit it here. Your creative time is the time of day when your brain is at its peak. Its the time you’re most motivated and most productive. If you’re a morning person, the am hours are probably your creative time. If you’re a night owl, the evenings are probably your most creative time. Others prefer the middle of the day or the weekends, when they’re less stressed about work.

Don’t know when your creative time is? Experiment! Try different times out during the day and see how you feel. Are some times easier than others? For example, I tend to find it really tough to write in the evenings. My brain is just fried at that point and all I want to do is watch TV. In the morning however, and in the early afternoon, I find my concentration is better and my will to write is higher. I take advantage of this time by writing first thing in the morning before I go to work (yes, this means I sacrifice some sleep), and by writing in the morning or early afternoon on the weekends.

Find your creative space

Finding a space where you write well is just as important as finding a time when you write well.

Granted, there will be many times in your life when you’re going to have to write where ever and whenever you can, but it’s nice to know the environment you write best in for the rest of the time. So, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you more comfortable writing alone or around other people?
  • Can you write with noise?
  • Do you need a comfy chair or will any stool do?
  • Can the door be open or closed?
  • Are you easily distracted?

All of these are important things to know about yourself and your writing habits so you can set yourself up for success. Having a space that suits your writing style will help you concentrate better.

Protect your writing time with your life!

Once you have your routine down, protect it with your life. Let everyone know that this is your time. Don’t answer your email or your phone. Get away from your family, roommates, friends, whatever. Make sure they know you won’t tolerate being asked to move your writing time around for something else.

You have to be strong. If you continue to give in to other people’s demands, you’ll never get in the time it takes to be writer. So say no! Your writing, your story, is giving you permission.

And that’s a wrap!

It’s been real, it’s been fun. Until next time, writers.

Be sure to catch the next lesson: Learn to Read Like a Writer.

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