Thursday, December 18, 2014

Get the Most Out of Your Writing Time

One of the real struggles of being a writer is finding the time to write, especially if you already have a full-time job away from it.

But the truth is, for every human being on this planet there are opportunities, free time if you will, to do what you are really interested in. And if it's writing, there should be plenty of time to do it.

One of the amazing things I discovered early on when it came to writing was that whenever I replaced television watching for writing, I'd spend far too much time away from what I loved the most. The same was true when I had Words with Friends on my cellphone. There simply wasn't enough time to write.

So I have shut off the tube more and have gotten rid of Words with Friends. I liked both pursuits, but found that much of my writing time was wasted when I substituted something I liked for something I loved.

Another issue with writing time comes in the form of distractions. These distractions (including again the two listed above) are those things that you find yourself doing simply because they occur on a given day.

Your mother calls you and speaks for an hour. Your friend drops by and you both decide to go to lunch. You have a terribly messy house and it needs to get cleaned sometime. Besides, cleaning will give you a chance to think about what your next book's going to be about.


But I have found that if I don't schedule a time for myself, say, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. without distraction, meaning I don't pick up the phone, respond to a text, or even answer the door between those hours. And guess what? I will finally have time to get a little writing done.

I'm not suggesting for a minute that we aren't friendly, that we, as writers, become total hermits. Because, quite frankly, getting out does something wonderful for our souls, and we may just gather in some new elements for our latest book. What I am saying is that we both take our writing seriously enough to make it a priority.

Getting the most out of your writing time means choosing writing over something else that may be equally enjoyable. If you have little time to write as I do, you know that finding the time means taking it seriously enough to schedule it, just like you'd do a dentist appointment or lunch with a


May I make another suggestion? Talk to those close to you in your life and let them know when you'll be away from the phone or door because you're writing. If they are a true friend they will appreciate your honesty and dedication to your craft.

I know I would.


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