Do you ever feel like you have to force yourself to sit down and write? Do you find it difficult to carve out some writing time? Between work, family commitments, a social life and much needed downtime, finding time to write can often fall to the bottom of your priorities list.
If you feel this way, you are not alone. It’s an issue many writers face.
There are, of course, only so many hours in the day. But that’s just part of the story. A person has only so much energy, too. And you know what? Screw those guys who tell you to wake up at 5 a.m. to write or to stop watching TV in the evenings. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a productivity machine and I need rest and relaxation in my day!
So how can you make time to write?
Schedule it in
We make time for work because it’s fixed in our schedule, and we make time for ourselves because if we didn’t we’d collapse. But what if both writing-time and me-time were also scheduled into our week? That way we remove the mental hassle of having to decide what to do and when, and we can plan other engagements and responsibilities around both writing-time and me-time.
Make it a habit
Making time to write is partly an issue of prioritising and planning, but partly an issue of habit-forming, too.
Instead of having to draw on your finite amount of willpower to make yourself sit down and write, habits allow us to slide effortlessly into action. Creating a habit is the hard part, but once it’s there it becomes automatic.
By creating a writing habit, you’ll find that your writing time automatically becomes part of your daily or weekly schedule and you won’t have to muster so much energy and willpower to find a suitable time to write. Instead, you’ll be able to save that energy to fuel your actual writing.
Give it a try
This is something I’m experimenting with at the moment. As someone who runs her own business, I must be diligent at creating a work schedule for myself, but I’ve let my own creative writing fall to the bottom of my priorities list.
Determined to change that, I’ve committed to writing 500 words of stream-of-consciousness after my shower in the evening. The shower becomes the trigger for my habit, and 500 words of nonsense is pretty easy to commit to.
I’m not actually writing anything of value at the moment, but the point is I’m developing my habit. Once it’s ingrained, it should be easier for me to sit down every evening and write bigger and better things. (That’s the plan, anyway!)
How can you start developing your own writing habit? If you’ve already got one, what works best for you? I’d love to know. Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.