Think you don’t have time to write? Think again. The truth is even the busiest person can find time to write, be it as little as ten minutes a day. Many famous authors including Anne Rice, Toni Morrison and Harper Lee wrote their books while holding down full-time jobs and many authors continue to write while juggling family commitments. The truth is we all have the same amount of time in a day and it’s up to us what we do with it. Here are six ways authors fit writing into their lives.
1. They prioritize writing time
Finding time to write when you feel overwhelmed can seem impossible. But here’s the secret: writing is a choice and it’s up to you to prioritize it in your life. If you are struggling to find time then it’s because it’s not a priority and something else is more important to you right now. Look at where you spend your time and how you prioritize the different elements of your life. Do you say you want to write a novel but spend your evenings catching up on your favourite series? Are your weekends so overfilled with social commitments you don’t have time for anything else? Examine what you are currently doing with your time: where can you fit in your writing? Is there something you have to give up in order to write? Could you cut back on television time, social commitments, social media or put pen to paper during your lunch hour? You don’t have to have an uninterrupted afternoon to commit to writing, sometimes it’s about utilizing the small gaps of time we have available.
2. They say no
If writing is important to you then you need to stop compromising on your writing time. Learn to say no. Not only to external commitments (meetings, phone calls, and emails) but also to internal should-do tasks that are getting you nowhere. You don’t have to be present at every social occasion. By saying no to extra commitments you are saying yes to giving yourself time to write.
3. They write when they are meant to be writing
Writing time is not the time for catching up on emails or chatting to that friend on Facebook that you haven’t seen in forever. Writing time is about one thing: writing. You think you are being efficient but multi-tasking but it means you are constantly switching your focus and giving in to interruptions. Switch off your devices. Close down those tabs and give your writing the focus it deserves. Still struggling? Try the Pomodoro technique, giving yourself a 25-minute block of time to do nothing but write.
4. Surround themselves with support
Writing can be a solitary past-time but you don’t have to do everything alone. Fellow writers can provide a much-needed source of support and motivation. Approach meeting writers with a ‘pay it forward’ attitude. Build a writing community based on mutual sharing and encouragement. By leveraging your strengths as a group, you’ll maximize your writing efforts.
5. They have a designated place to write
Not every author has a secluded cabin in the wood in which to write their latest best-seller. Some write on the corner of an overflowing kitchen bench every morning. Find yourself a spot (whether it’s in your house or at a local café or library) where you won’t be interrupted.
6. They make time for life
Each writer needs to find their balance between getting the work done and having a life. You don’t have to be glued to your laptop to be a productive author. It helps to have structure in your writing routine but keep it flexible to avoid burnout.