Have you ever told yourself that you’ll write when you have the time, but then you never seem to have the time? Well, here is how I make time to write between three jobs, my household responsibilities, and my three-year-old daughter.
1. Make it a Habit
This was and continues to be the hardest tip for me to follow. My days are chaotic and ever-changing, so creating a routine that works for me is about impossible. Take yesterday for example.
I intended to spend the day working, but then I got a call in the morning that prompted me going out for three hours. When I got home, with a tired preschooler in tow, I got another call from a doctor and spent the next two hours dealing with that. By that point, my daughter was climbing on me and wanting attention. I didn’t get to work until she was in bed, and by then I was completely out of time to write for myself!
Making a habit of writing is incredibly difficult, and sometimes you just don’t have the time on a given day. Even if you have to get up early or go to bed later, try to make it a habit.
2. Have a Dedicated Writing Space
Your writing space doesn’t have to be exclusively for writing. My “dedicated writing space” is the desk I also tutor, edit, and run a business from. Just use the same place every time to write, whether that’s your couch, the kitchen table, or even your car (though I seriously recommend a desk!).
3. No Distractions
This is easier said than done in our connected universe. More often than not I’ll be typing away and my phone rings with a call from my best friend, mother, or one of my daughter’s doctors. Or I’ll get an urgent email from one of my jobs. Or my daughter will fall off her bed and need held for a while.
This is why I recommend writing when everyone else in your household is asleep. It’s usually either too early or late for work, friends, or family to be calling, so you’ll be safe on that end too!
4. Writing Sprints
Writing sprints are my favorite way of writing a lot in a short period of time. I generally work in 30-45 minute increments when I do a writing sprint. My husband takes our daughter, I put headphones in, and I just write. Not everyone can write while they listen to music, but it inspires and motivates me.
When you do a writing sprint, you just write. There’s no editing as you go, and you don’t go back to read until the end. I’ve managed over 2,000 words in a single writing sprint more than once. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes with it!
When I’m struggling to make myself sit down and write, I implement one of my parenting strategies: a reward system. If I write 1,000 words, I get a few mini Reese’s candies (my favorite candy). When I finished Lies Left Behind I rewarded myself with a weekend at my godparents’ home in Connecticut.
Goals are great things to have. Just make sure that you don’t make up goals that are downright impossible to obtain. For example, I’d love to write a book and be ready to publish in a month. But I know in reality that I’ll likely need a year to get the writing done. And that’s okay!
Write your goals down and break them down into smaller, easier-to-accomplish tasks. Check off each task as you go, and soon you’ll reach your goals!
Have you been able to make time for writing? Try these tips if you’re struggling!