In this blog, I want to share with you how to find times to write. I must admit there are times when I find this difficult. There are days when I get home from the office and just want a comfy sofa, a warm kitty on my lap and a good film or book.
But more than that I want to be a successful writer and to do so (and pay the bills) I need to work my job and write, and I need to write regularly. But how on earth do you find time between work, life, the house/flat and all the little jobs that come in between?
In a perfect world, I would write for a couple of hours each day. To be honest, I feel that all writers should aim to write each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. I don’t mean a shopping list, a memo or a note; I mean something to do with your manuscript. EVERY DAY.
A lot of people (myself included) struggle with this. So many time’s I’ve heard myself rant, how am I meant to find time between my job, the everyday errands it takes to live, a sort of social life, the gym (yes I go…sometimes) and everything else life throws at me to write each day?
I have found a solution (honest I have). It works (some of the time) it means sacrifice, I won’t lie to you, but, in the long run, a little bit of regular sacrifice can be the difference between success and failure as a writer.
Give writing the same level of importance that you give to your salary job.
Yup, that’s right, the job that puts a roof over your head and food on your plate. Your writing is just as important, and you need to treat it as such. Don’t deal with it like a fair-weather hobby (or rather don’t handle it as such and still expects success). Writing is something you have to work hard at, like your job; it needs regular hours and dedication. Appreciate that, and you’re on the first step.
Find somewhere quiet that is dedicated to writing. I have recently read articles that state if you struggle with sleeping you should keep in mind that your bedroom is where you sleep and should be recognised as such. It should not be treated as a living room (unless you live in a studio). This means that the bedroom should be designed for peace and sleep, it shouldn’t have TV’s, or desks, etc. (unless it’s a studio), and it should be a quiet place with a sleepy focus. Writing is the same, if you have a ‘space’ for wiring every time you go into that space, your brain will trip onto your writing mode.
Use all kinds of time
Now think about times. When I was employed in our city office, this meant a daily commute, and I turned the morning and evening train rides (which were terrible, cramped and awful) into my writing time. 40 minutes each way meant almost two hours of writing time. I took a pen, and a notepad plugged in my headphones and slipped into my world. This was a perfect time for me, a time that would have otherwise been dead time. It’s worth looking at your day and trying to find moments of ‘dead time’. It doesn’t have to be a commute; it could be a lunch break or half an hour of an evening while you’re waiting to cook dinner, anytime you can find actually. I’ve read a lot of blogs and a lot of articles and a lot of advice getting up half an hour earlier to write, that way you start out on a positive note, and you find some quiet time. Personally, I’m not a morning person, but whatever works for you. The theory is sound.
Pick a bit of time each day or every other day to write. Make sure people are aware of this period, and they need to give you time and space to write. This is easier said than done as I mentioned in my blog writing as a business. But hang in there; you need to be firm with other people and yourself.
Keep your time
Once you’ve got your time, tips on keeping it include, turning off your phone, turning off your email, hell, disable the internet! Facebook is a major distraction for me, and there are days I have to shut down the internet to get anything done.
Targets are not always right for you
If setting target’s stress you out then don’t do it, just sit and write, removing the stress will make you relax and sometimes I need to be relaxed to get anything done. Other times the pressure gives me a bit of an edge, an adrenalin burst, other times it cripples me. Find what works for you, change it up as and when needed.
Reward yourself. I reward myself for reaching small goals with time playing video games. Bigger achievements warrant more significant rewards, earlier this week I finished my first LawCat book (Slip/Trip claims) and this afternoon I bought myself delicious Chinese food and a new book!
So find the right mindset, locate the time, and locate the space. If these things are not readily available, then you can make them. But sometimes you may need to modify your tactics. Things that worked for back in 2013 don’t always work now. Things that work some days don’t work on others, try different things until you find what works now. Just don’t be disappointed if that trick doesn’t work tomorrow.
Katie Marie wrote a Book. A big one and a couple of little ones. Check them out!