The eternal struggle of time, a struggle of course that isn’t solely that of writers! But for a writer, and everyone else… our greatest asset is time. And unfortunately, so difficult to find…
This is a battle I have often found myself in, and even now as I write this, I have deadlines that need meeting, teenagers’ homework that needs reading, sleep that needs sleeping and a day job! How do we stop and take the time to do what we love?
I have recently found an immense joy in writing, not only writing but the well thought out plans and ideas being created in my mind on a daily basis that lead up to the writing. So many ideas, so many plans, the list goes on and on…
The dilemma of writing for work vs. writing for pleasure has been around for decades, we all need to earn a living as writers but writing is a joy that we want to spend time on, not rush through. Where does that time come from?
Steal Time From the Morning Hours
The Writer’s Digest suggests that we try to utilize our mornings, stealing a few hours from the day can certainly solve this dilemma, and what better way to start the day! That plus a little exercise… could set the tone of our day filled with positivity and motivation, I’m excited already just thinking about this option! I know from experience that when we start our days a little earlier, we simply feel like we’ve received extra free time, why not take this time for writing?
I know… this may sound easier said than done, but if you have others that live with you, say children… or a spouse… then learn to delegate small tasks around to others. Perhaps you could offer promises – in exchange – such as ‘they can choose the movie for movie-night’, or ‘you will make their favourite meal for dinner’; there are plenty of opportunities to ask for help if you need the extra time for writing. And hopefully, your support network will understand how important writing is to you.
Keep At It!!
Photo by Kathy Lum
Just keep writing, write on the bus, write on the train, write during breaks at work. Just keep at it! That is the most widely offered advice from renowned writers around the world. Never give up, and if you feel exhausted, then write for just 30 minutes then reward yourself with a break. If you take the time to write during those odd times, then the time found can quickly add up!
Get Rid of the Guilt~
Everyone deserves to enjoy a little time doing the things they love. If you are feeling guilted into spending more time with friends, or less time on housework etc; then remember this one thing… we have to take care of ourselves, so that we can take care of others. Toss that guilt literally out the literary door, because it is unneeded, unnecessary and just plain history.
Read Something Ispirational
I know that a large part of finding time is correlated to motivation. If we are lacking in motivation, then our time seems to slip past us. One thing that I love to do is to read other people’s posts and blogs, books and ebooks on writing, and the motivational energy they share with their readers.
Schedule The Time
This may sound obvious, but it’s something many of us don’t think of! Scheduling the time to write, the way you would schedule tasks at work, or schedule homework is one of the easiest ways to steal time for yourself. The key however, is to ensure that you follow the schedule, which brings me to the idea of making a to-do list. This list can and should always have writing scheduled in.
An idea from the very successful ‘Problogger.com’, when you are busy completing other tasks throughout the day, especially if these tasks allow your mind to wander, then try mental writing, or ‘blogging’. Organize your thoughts, and make mental notes of the ideas you want to get out onto paper later. Even if you carry around a small notebook, it’s a good idea to ‘very quickly’ jot down the thoughts in point form, then get right back to the original task at hand. How easy does that sound? I think even I could do it!!
Let us know how you find the time to write… or where you find the time to do something that you love. Share with us the various ways you’ve found to extend time… We would LOVE to hear from you!! And I personally respond to all comments : )