I have recently returned to working full time and discovery myself facing the inevitable, finding time to write. Though not a new struggle, it’s one I am still searching a solution for. I am sharing what I have discovered has worked for others and for me over the years.
Use it or lose it
I’ve been told by many that the key to finding time in your day or week to write is to intentionally set aside time where you will have no distractions or other commitments. However, in my experience life gets in the way and writing can easily be put on the back burner. Little jobs, unproductive time wasters or things you’ve put off become an excuse. We actually have a great deal of time available to us, but tend to fill it with meaningless tasks that don’t matter or amount to much. However, if writing is your priority, then make it so.
Get the job done
Understanding how you motivate yourself can be another useful way of hammering out time for your story. I’ve heard people say putting reminders on the fridge, inspirational saying beside your computer or just telling yourself to get your Butt In Chair, Fingers On Keyboard (BIC FOK), works every time. Scheduling in the time can work for some as well. Write while on the treadmill, tape record yourself in the car or get up thirty minutes before the rest of the house. Give yourself a weekly goal or a deadline, but only do this if it’ll work for your personality. The last thing you’ll want to do is to stress yourself out.
Having a notepad and pen on your person ensures you will be ready when the idea or moment strikes. A small notebook or pad of paper might be old school, however there are studies being done on the brain that indicate when you physically write you are accessing more of your creative side. Jotting down ideas when they come to you means you are always well prepared and will never forget those great moments of inspiration.
Take it when you can
There’s no question our lives have become increasingly demanding and craving out time to do writing can be very challenging, especially if you have to justify it to the people in your life. However, as Dr. Mira Kirshenbaum says: “Don’t ask for time for yourself. If you ask, people can say no. If you just do it, then you’ve done it and you’ve got it. Your being happy is the only change they’ll notice.”
When you focus on what truly matters you will find your accomplishing what you want in far less time and greater happiness.