Finding the time to write can be impossible, but with a careful look at your schedule and routines, you can learn to make time for it.
Writing has to be a priority. Maybe not the number one — things like family, health and paid work need to take precedence — but it’s got to be near the top of your list or you’re unlikely to make the time.
There are some things that absolutely need to happen in your day, and if these things occupy all your hours, trying to fit in writing probably isn’t realistic. That doesn’t mean your priorities aren’t subject to change. Maybe a promotion or a child starting school will give you that bit of time you need.
So ask yourself: How important is writing?
Do you spend hours on social media or vegged out in front of the TV? Take a look at your leisure activities. What can you cut back on? Are there chores you can scale back or offload to another member of your household (or maybe just ignore)?
There are plenty of wonderful apps that can help you plan out your day to make you more efficient, freeing up precious moments you could use writing. Don’t let planning and organizing consume all your time, but consider some lists of big projects. It also helps to break bigger tasks down into smaller ones to make it more manageable and less daunting.
Location, Location, Location!
Find a good place to write. This is almost as important as making the time. Maybe you need a cozy corner in your living room. Maybe you need to get dressed and out of your house to be productive. That last one is trickier until it’s safe to go to cafes and libraries again, but maybe you can write in the car or on a balcony.
Play around with location and find what works for you.
Enlist Your Family or Roommates
Make sure the people you live with understand how important your writing time is. If you don’t have the same time every day, find a system you can use to signal to them that it is your time to write, and only dire emergencies are acceptable interruptions. If you’re a parent, writing when your kids are asleep is a fantastic option. If you’re not a night owl, consider getting up a little earlier in the morning to write.
Push Beyond Your Comfort Zone
Join a writing group that holds you accountable. There are so many of them out there — we even have a list [link]! If you think you might have the time, but are a little fearful, check out writing events like NaNoWriMo. Get swept up in the sea of literary abandon, throw your internal editor and your fears overboard, and write.
It’s important to understand that sometimes, especially in a crisis like the pandemic, you just might not be able to make the time for writing. You’re not a time traveller and there are only so many hours in the day, especially if you’re getting enough sleep (and you should!).
And making time isn’t always enough. The number of people experiencing poor mental health is on the rise, so be sure to take care of yourself first. See our last post [link] about de-stressing or resources on mental health [link] if you’re worried you’re dealing with more than stress.
Remember, you can do this! And your story matters. Now go forth and write.