Would you like to write or to write more often? Perhaps, you already have a story in mind or a subject you’d like to write about, be it for a book, poetry, short story, blog, or article.
You may feel moved to inspire, entertain or inform people with your words and wisdom.
But no matter how much you feel drawn to the prospect of writing you don’t get around to it because life is busy and finding the time to write isn’t easy.
Here are 5 tips from my years of writing that may help you find the time to write.
Tip 1: Make changes to your weekly routine
If your life is full of activity, you will need to take something out of it, to allow something new in.
To make progress with writing, it is important to do it weekly. If you can schedule more time for writing, better still. But to start with, write at least once a week.
By writing at the same time on the same day each week, you will form a habit. Also, and importantly, the people around you will get the message that this is your time for writing and allow you the space to do it with minimal interruption.
If you take your writing seriously others will be more inclined to also, and this reinforces your own commitment to the task. It boosts your confidence.
When working out a writing schedule, jot down all that you do in an ordinary week. Then assess how your time is being spent.
Note: Everyone has the same amount of time every day and week, however, some people use time more efficiently. Meaning – the way they use their time brings them the outcomes they desire.
Do you notice any of your days that could be used better? Could time be spent writing instead?
For instance – you could stop watching tv or a device in the evenings.
You could stay in to write on a Friday or Saturday night – alternate every other week.
Spend less time at the shops, or doing chores. It’s okay to have a messy house – you may even get used to it!!
Sleep less – get up a couple of hours earlier in the mornings to write, perhaps at 5 am – join the early writer’s club!
Catch the bus rather than drive to work and write as you travel. The passengers you share the ride with may even inspire a few characters in your book – if you write fiction!
Drop bub off at daycare or with grandparents or a friend who can help and thank them on the acknowledgements page of your book (I did!).
Tip 2: Choose a place to write that inspires you
Choose a place to write that uplifts your spirits so you’ll naturally make time to be there. Personalise the spot to make it feel like it’s yours.
If it’s a room at home with a desk, spruce it up with nice decor – a decorative mat, indoor plant, pictures on the walls, and inspirational sayings at eye level that are meaningful to you.
Make it a room with a window so you can enjoy a beautiful view or simply, natural light and fresh air while you write.
To stimulate your writer’s imagination you may like to take your writing outdoors – to your garden, the bush, or the ocean. Perhaps, you prefer an indoor setting but away from home, a library, or a cafe.
Being in nature or among friendly strangers may enhance your imagination. Feeling inspired by your surroundings will certainly encourage you to find time to write.
When no one is home but me, I write best at my dining table because it’s a room with a lovely view.
During the day, I look over my garden, listen to the birds going about their daily activities, and have powerful gratitude for the beauty that is around me.
I also have a view of a wonderful, big abstract painting I created that hangs across the room, and photos of my family from our special times spent together.
All this sets the mood for my writing. In this way, I feel soulful and open to creativity every day. On other occasions, I have written in parks, by the river and ocean, and at cafes.
Tip 3: Set up expectations to help motivate you
As a writer, you may already be motivated and require little prompting. But many people who wish to write or to write more often, manage time better if they feel the weight of somebody’s expectations.
When there is a person who is waiting to read your writing and for it to arrive in their inbox by a particular date – like an editor, client, fellow writer, or friend, it really does get you moving!
You don’t want to let them down or lose esteem so you’re more inclined to find time to write.
One reason why I set up Spirit my way with a blog on its homepage is to make myself feel accountable to my readers. It helps me to keep motivated and meet my writing goals.
There are many ways to put a good measure of pressure on yourself so you find time to write.
You could tell your family to expect your memoir by Christmas – perhaps as their gift!
Tell clients via social media to expect a helpful how-to book written by you at the start of the next financial year.
You may like to arrange for a mentor to receive a chapter of your draft manuscript each month, and have them provide you with feedback.
Consider submitting work to writing contests or magazines that have deadlines – to help motivate your writing.
Tip 4: Make the most of your tiny times & daily pauses
One of the best things about writing is that you can do it in bits and pieces of time – it’s a very convenient and adaptable activity.
You can write almost anywhere and on anything. If snatches of time are all you can afford then you can still make progress.
Much of my book Where The Light Lives was written here and there, between baby naps, at night, and on Sunday afternoons (I gave up tv, cleaning, and bike rides!).
It was in the ‘tiny times’ that I made stratospheric progress, in those seemingly inconsequential everyday pauses.
These days, people like to write on devices, but it’s also good to get a little old-fashioned with your writing. Carry a notebook around with you wherever you go. Or leave paper and pen in the places you frequent.
You’ll be amazed how often a perfectly fantastic idea, line, or word arises in your mind when you’re least expecting it – while sitting on the toilet, taking a shower, washing dishes, hanging out laundry, standing in a cue, buying groceries, or driving a car!!
If you don’t jot it down, there, and then, you’ll have a sleepless night trying to recall the magic!
Tip 5: See your writing as having real value
I see writing as a spiritual practice. It’s time to get in touch with my higher aspect. It’s my relaxation, meditation, and therapy.
I also value writing greatly because it connects me with my readers wherever they are in the world.
If you see your writing time as something that is nourishing you, you add value to it. If you see that your words are giving hope and knowledge to others, then again you add value to the time that you spend writing.
Writing is valuable to me so I prioritise it. I would have more money if I wasn’t a writer and working in another profession, but truth is, writing enriches my life in ways money can’t.
I value writing more than having a new car. So, if you want to write, or to write more, and really feel you haven’t the time, you may even consider working fewer hours in your day job.
Let me know which of the 5 writing tips is most helpful to you. I’d love to know. If you have a writer friend, please share this post!