Finding the time to write sometimes is just as hard as finding a topic to write about. It’s like the chicken or the egg analogy. Which comes first?
I know how you feel. I work full-time as a technical writer and also try to have a life. I know life’s limitations, but I wanted to write this post, so I started this when I was on my lunch. It was the only time that I had to dedicate to writing. So, I took it at the time.
I sent out a survey on Twitter the other day, and thank you to those who added their input. The poll asked, what is your biggest hurdle in writing. Unless there is a dramatic shift in the space and time continuum, the unanimous answer is –finding the time to write.
If you have a problem finding the time to write, keep reading, and I’ll give you three quick and easy tips to help you schedule more writing time.
Finding Time to Write Tip #1 Turn off the Distractions
“One of the big secrets of finding time is not to watch television.”Bob Keeshan (a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo)
There are so many things out there today that can distract us from writing. Instagram, Facebook, email, online news, and others weren’t around 20 years ago. The problem is that we willingly let these things distract us from our writing. We let these shiny objects detract us from writing.
Action: Before you begin to write, turn off your distractions. You know what your shiny objects are. Turn off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and email. Turn off all the distractions that you usually waste time on. If you don’t want it to be quiet, turn on some music. When I want to concentrate, I listen to soundtracks in my headphones. Yes, soundtracks. I like to listen to Star Wars or Harry Potter. It’s just music, no words to distract me. It’s just good background music to help erase the background noises.
Finding Time to Write Tip #2 Set a Word Limit
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.Walt Disney
Set a word limit for when you write. To get back into the swing of writing again, make your first couple of days of writing easy. Shoot for 400 words. That is about one sheet of paper, depending on font size and spacing. Look at this post. I was going to write a quick 400 words, and I’m already at 685 words. This post will be closer to 900-1000 words when I finish.
Action: Go to Amazon.com and order a calendar or, if you prefer, a planner. For fun, get a package of happy faces stickers or those little gold stars we used to get in grade school. Every time you sit down to write and meet your goal put a happy face on the date. After a few days, you will get a streak going. If you are like most people, you’ll get that streak going, and you will not want to break it. Keep writing and putting those happy faces on the days; in no time, you’ll have a streak you will not want to break.
Finding Time to Write Tip #3: Make Writing Your Priority
The hardest part is making the time to write. Not finding the time to write, mind you. Making.Carmen Agra Deedy
If you ask for the time, it will never come. Period. As I used to tell my daughters, “When it becomes important to you, you will make the time for it.””
Action: Set an alarm to write. Stick to it. MAKE THE TIME TO WRITE.
If you are one of the lucky people with time in the morning to write, set your alarm a few minutes early. Get up. Make a pot of coffee to wake up a bit and start writing.
If you do not have the time in the morning, set an alarm on your phone to schedule some time to write. Do you commute on the train for work? That might be a good time to write.
Do you have an hour’s lunch and waste it surfing Facebook? That might be a good time to write.
Do you come home from work and veg out in front of Netflix? That might be a good time to write.
So, look at your day and take 10 minutes to sit down and write.
Only you know where you are wasting time.
I hope these tips help you to make the time to write again. When writing becomes important, then we will make the time to do it.
Another thing I used to tell my daughters is, “You can always find an excuse not to do something.” So make writing important, and you will be surprised about where your writing will take you.
If you like this post or if there is a topic that you’d like me to cover, then drop me a note in the comments section. I reply to every comment.
Did You Know…
… that using images in your blog post makes your post visually appealing. You carry around a camera every day, and it’s your iPhone. Use it to take pictures to include in your blog posts. The picture quality of the newer iPhones is outstanding!
Keep your pencils on the paper, and I’ll see you next week!!
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Until next time everyone,
Peace, Love, and Happiness