One of the greatest challenges writers face is time. The fact is, there just isn’t enough time to do everything, and there never will be. Life is about choosing a few things to do well, rather than loads of things to do badly – as such if you want your writing to be one of them, here’s a couple of things you could try to make it happen.
Don’t write at home
Writing at home can be almost impossible, there’s always washing to put on, or somewhere to hoover, or you find yourself looking at a mark on the wall and think you’ll start writing once you’ve got that off.
The way around that… don’t write at home.
I do a lot of my writing in cafes, but I’ve also used time on the train, in the airport, motorway services, at work – in fact anywhere you can go for a few minutes to just focus on your writing will do.
Writing is a fitness. It’s something you get better at over time. Even if you want to be a prolific author, don’t expect to be able to sit down and turn out 10,000 words in one sitting. Very few people in the world can do this, and those that can have been doing it for years.
To my knowledge, most professional writers only do about 2000 words a day, but if you’re just starting, go for even less.
Commit to spending 15-20 minutes a day on your project – set a timer and write. Get some ideas down and start the flow. You can always ignore your timer if you need to go longer.
Get to know yourself
Some people work early in the day, some write on their lunch break, others write late into the evening. Every creative person is different. Get to know when you create the best, and if possible try to work your time around this.
I work well in the morning – that’s because I’m a teacher and by the end of the day my mind is tired and creativity seems impossible.
Block off time
I use an online calendar, if there is something I really need to do, I’ll block off the time for it in there. For example, this week I’ve got separate time blocked off for my fiction and non-fiction writing.
This will help you add structure and prioritize your time.
Sometimes it just doesn’t work
I know this first hand, and it took me months to come to terms with that. Sometimes I can sit at my desk and the ideas don’t come. Some creatives say that they stay there and fight it – I don’t. I have a rule that I’ll give it 20 minutes, if I’m getting nothing from it I’ll go and do something else. I can always try again later in the day if I get the chance, if not there’s always tomorrow.
Yes, writing is hard, but it’s also fun. If you’re having fun it will show in your characters and your readers will feel it. Set small targets which you can achieve, this will inspire you to get to your desk, and when you’re there you never know what’ll happen.