No writer leads a charmed life, especially when it comes to time. There’s NEVER enough time in the day! We all have commitments: day jobs, families, lifestuff. So I’m a big believer in MAKING time to write – but lots of writers wonder HOW we can do this … So here’s Diane’s words of wisdom on the matter. Enjoy!
There isn’t just one way of doing anything, including being a writer. Life is a custom experience, and our writing habits are too. What are your writing habits? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to write more than you do? We actually have more time in our schedules than we think!
Yes, the hours in a day are finite, but with a few tweaks we can create more time and energy for writing. Here’s the real secret: we actually have more power to prioritize writing than we’re currently using. Yes, that’s right: power. Free will is our power. Once we’re more conscious of the choices we make for or against our writing time, we can make better choices.
Do you really want to find more time to write? If so, keep reading. If you can do a few of these on a consistent basis, you’ll see a change in how much time you spend writing.
1) Don’t turn on TV, Radio & Social Media
You may think that you only spend an hour here and there watching TV, or a few minutes a day on social media. But all of those hours and minutes add up to time that you spend on someone else’s stories and drama.
Do you want to write the stories, or give your energy to someone else’s? By shutting out the media, we create an opening for inspiration and contemplation. If this is hard, start by shutting things off just two nights a week and write on those nights. Try it for a few weeks. MORE: How to negotiate time with your partner & family to write
Cosmic tip: Turn off other people’s stories and create your own world. See how much more space there is inside you for your stories when you aren’t full of TV and news.
2) Cut something out of your schedule
When I was working on my memoir, coming home from a full time job to write in the evening, I stopped cooking. Most days I picked something up at the salad bar on my way home from work, saving myself at least an hour in cooking and clean up time. As soon as I was finished eating, I went directly to my computer. No gabbing on the phone or reading my astrology books. Yes, for two years I gave up reading books too. MORE: Balancing writing and family life, part 1
Cosmic tip: You can’t do everything. Sacrifice something for your writing, and it will mean even more to you.
3) Delegate or let go
If you have a family, give your partner the responsibility of putting the kids to bed or making dinner two nights a week so you can have an extra hour or so to write. Try to let some other habits go. Do you really need to wash the dog’s bed every single week, or vacuum the entire house every Saturday? MORE: Balancing writing and family life, part 2
Cosmic tip: Nothing bad will happen if you let some things go so that you can write. In fact, good things will happen: pages and pages of words!
4) Say No!
This is the hardest habit to develop. We’re bombarded every day with other people’s needs, wishes, troubles, and demands. If you want to prioritize your writing, you have to learn to say no to other people. Accompanying saying no is the challenge of becoming comfortable with doing your own thing, going against the herd, and focusing on your world. You’re not being selfish, you’re being a writer. MORE: 10 Tips On Being A Productive Writer
Cosmic tip: If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. Make writing your priority, instead.
5) Say Yes! (To activities that feed your writing)
If you know that going to hear David Sedaris read at the local theater is going to help you stay in the writing zone, go! Make a conscious connection between what you say yes to and your writing. MORE: Routine Vs. Inspiration
Cosmic tip: Making and keeping conscious choices about activities that feed your writing help build your writing will.
6) Write with a friend
Make a routine date to write with a friend. You’ll not only get a little social interaction, but you’ll be inspired by their writing and comforted by doing it with someone else. My friend and I set a timer on her phone for 45 minutes, and don’t stop writing until the alarm sounds. Sometimes, we scribble past it. It’s fun to read aloud to each other what we just wrote. MORE: 20 Inspirational Quotes Writers Can Learn From (And Why)
Cosmic tip: Turn keeping a date with a friend into keeping a date with yourself.
7) Reward yourself for meeting your writing goals
You set a goal to write three chapters in three weeks. To accomplish this, you followed some of these tips. How did you do it? You said no to babysitting your neighbor’s kids – twice. You gave up Downton Abbey and Sense8. You lost touch with a few Facebook friends. But – you wrote three chapters in three weeks! Fantastic!
Now do something nice for yourself to celebrate – go out for a drink, eat an ice-cream sundae, call a friend and go out to dinner. You deserve it! Enjoy yourself. Then get back to work. MORE: Top 20 Quotes For Writing Success
Cosmic tip: Celebrate accomplishments but use them as building blocks, not roadblocks.
BIO: Diane Fraser’s memoir, Growing Up Superheroes, The Extraordinary Adventures of Deihlia Nye took her two years to write, edit, and publish. While she wrote, she worked a demanding full time job, helped her family clean out two houses from two deaths, and stopped dating, cooking and dancing so that she could focus on the book. On top of all this, Diane is a cosmic coach, providing insight to clients through tarot, energy work, her book and her blog, which you can check out HERE. Luckily, she’s a Capricorn, ruled by Saturn – the planet of self-discipline and time.
Audio notes – whether on the school run, a shopping trip, or any other journey, modern technology allows us to record our thoughts for use later. I ‘work’ while walking home from dropping my boy at school – capturing these extra ideas can also motivate you to find the time to write.
This article is spot on – we have all made excuses as to why we can’t write. Once you discipline yourself to think like a writer, to grab every spare second to further your dream, it becomes second nature. So, have faith!
This is great! I think I’m already doing most of them so definitely agree with all this. I would also add learning to write under any circumstances. Most of my writing is currently done on the train to work or in cafés on my lunch break. On a good day I can get three hours writing in like that.
Love this – especially #1 and #5. Was encouraged to keep a time log and realized 4 episodes of The Voice every week wasn’t “feeding” my novel! On the flip side, listening to author podcasts gave me great encouragement. Thanks for keeping it real with these reminders!
Thanks for sharing all these other great tips and experiences. We may be working alone, but we’re all in it together! Glad I am in such good company.
Back to writing,
I get up at 6, thus giving myself an extra hour of writing in peace! Happy writing everyone.