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 try to have a life too. So, I know the limitations that life brings when it comes to juggling a schedule.
I sent out a survey on Twitter the other day. Thank you to those who added their input. The poll asked, what is your biggest hurdle when it comes to writing. Unless there is a dramatic shift in the space-time continuum, the unanimous answer is – finding the time to write.
If you are like the people that responded to my poll and are having a problem finding the time to write, keep reading and I’ll give you three quick and easy tips to get you writing again.
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. Facebook, Twitter, email, online news, and all the other stuff that wasn’t around 25 years ago. The problem is, is that we let these shiny objects detract us from our 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 distraction that you normally waste time on. If you don’t want it morgue quiet in the room, then turn on some music. When I really want to concentrate, I pop in my headphones and listen to soundtracks. Yes, soundtracks. I’m a big fan of John Williams. I like to listen to Star Wars or Harry Potter. It’s just music with no words to distract me. Just good background music to help erase the background noises.
Tip #2 Set a word limit
Set a minimum word limit when you write. To get back into the swing of writing again, make your first couple days of writing kind of easy. Shoot for 400 words. That’s about one page depending on font size and spacing. Look at this post. I was going to write a quick 400 words and I’m already there. This post will probably be close to 900 words when I finish.
Action: Go to your local store and pick up a calendar (or if you prefer a planner). Pick up a package of happy faces or those little gold stars that we used to get then we were in grade school. Every time you sit down to write and meet your goal, put a happy face on the date. You will get a streak going after a few days of writing. And if you are like most people, you will not want to break that streak.
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
This is the heart of this post. It’s not about finding the time. It is about making the time.
If you ask for the time, it will never come. Period. I used to tell my girls, “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 that has time in the morning, then set your alarm a few minutes early. Get up. Make a pot of coffee and start writing.
If you absolutely do not have the time in the morning, then 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 lunch and waste your time playing Freecell? That might be a good time to write.
Do you come home from work and sit in front of the TV? That might be a good time to write.
So, look at your day and schedule 15 minutes to sit down and start writing. Don’t worry about what you are writing, just write.
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.
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. 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 to the paper and I’ll see you next week!!