Finding Time to Write

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Today’s writers are not as those portrayed on TV. Many of us do not have the ability to write full-time, nor do we have opulent offices overlooking the ocean. Most of the writers I know work full-time inside or outside the home, care for a family, have church responsibilities, act as the family chauffeur, battle dust bunnies from overtaking their homes, and try to squeeze in a decent night’s sleep. Who has time to write? Well, many of them may not have time to write, but the majority of them MAKE the time to write.
With today’s writers juggling many responsibilities, carving out writing time is a necessity. So, how is it done? 

This past Monday night we talked about carving out writing time during the weekly My Book Therapy chat. This is a summation of the information I presented during the chat. You can read the full transcript here
I am a stay at home, work at home mom who owns and operates my own family-based child care program. I spend ten hours a day caring for six children ages two-five and provide them with hands-on early learning opportunities to further their development. I am NOT a babysitter. 

Hubby and I have one teenage son at home and one in college, who is currently home for the summer. My husband is a full-time student. I am the family breadwinner. Quitting my job to write full-time is NOT an option.
Oh, did I mention I teach Sunday school on a weekly basis? Add those responsibilities to my online duties as My Book Therapy forum coordinator, Voices ezine editor, ACFW Mid-Atlantic zone director, Afictionado bi-monthly columnist. And, in 2009, I graduated from college.
I’m not bragging on myself, so please don’t think I am. I’m simply showing my crazy schedule. So, with that in mind, how did I manage to find time to write a novel?
Stolen moments. 

I write in the morning before my day started. I write during naptime. Instead of watching TV, I wrote in the evenings. Sometimes I say no to fun activities so I can meet my daily word count.

If you’re still struggling to find writing time, consider these suggestions:
  • Write during naptime 
  • Delegate household chores and ask your family to help with cooking, cleaning, and laundry. 
  • Turn off the TV and use that time to write.
  • Set your kitchen timer for 15 minutes and write without stopping, editing, or backspacing.   
  • Arrange a kid swap with a friend, family member or neighbor. Ask them to keep your kids for two hours and you’ll do the same for them. Use those two hours to write. 
  • If you can afford it, hire a college student to entertain your children for a couple of hours.
  • Get up an hour early or stay up an hour later and use that time to write.
  • Head to the library for an hour or two. 
  • Take a notebook and brainstorm or make notes while waiting for children to finish extracurricular activities. 
  • If you carpool or commute to work, use that time to write a scene…as long as you’re not the one driving. 🙂
Set a daily word count goal, and then check your schedule for stolen moments to write. Consider asking a writing friend to be your accountability partner to encourage you and to crack that whip when your motivation fizzles. That word count will continue to increase as long as you are diligent about writing on a regular basis. If you want it badly enough, you’ll find time or a way to make your dream happen. Don’t you think it’s worth it?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: Do you work inside or outside the home? How do you manage to find time to write with your busy schedule? What suggestions do you have for others who are struggling to find time in their schedules to write?

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  1. T. Anne

    Wow. How many ways could you spell busy? Hat's off I feel like I have very little excuse not to produce now.

  2. Kelly Freestone

    Wow, honey.
    You're a busy woman!

    I work 50 hours a week, so any time that's not spent on children aand church activities and softball for the hubbs is soaked up in writing…but I'm taking off a few days.
    I just got too exhausted.

    These are great ways to find time to write, but tell me,
    how do you relax?
    Looks like you've mastered scheduling, when do you breathe?

  3. Lisa Jordan

    T. Anne, don't worry–I can procrastinate with the best of them. 🙂 I will admit that sometimes writing takes a backseat when other things on my schedule demand a higher priority.

  4. Lisa Jordan

    Kelly, I relax in the evenings after dinner. Sometimes I'll knit while trying to figure out my next scene. I'm addicted to NCIS so I need to get my daily dose of Gibbs. 🙂 It's not all work…I promise. 🙂