I know sometimes making time for writing can be a struggle. Recently, it’s been a bit of a struggle for me. In the last couple of months, illness, my day job, and family responsibilities have crowded in, and I’ve hard to work harder to make time for my writing. So I thought for this bloghop, I’d share some of the techniques I use to fit my writing time in.
1. Schedule your writing time on your calendar. This is especially important if, like me, you can’t keep the same schedule for each day. Some days my writing time is early in the day, and sometimes it’s in the evening.
2. Set realistic time goals. Sometimes we have a habit of overloading our schedules, and this is true for our writing as well. Some days, writing time might have to be a bit shorter due to all the other responsibilities you have to fulfill that day. For instance, if you have doctor appointments during the day, your daughter’s ballet recital in the evening, and all your normal responsibilities, you may have to make your writing time shorter. On other days, where you have extra free time, you can make your writing time longer. I find it usually balances out in the end.
3. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Ask yourself, “What things must get done today?” This helps you identify how much time you can set aside for writing. This also applies to your writing. What projects are the most important and need your attention now?
4. Be prepared for the unexpected. Sometimes unexpected things happen: illness, accidents, death in the family. While you can’t really plan for such an event, you can be prepared. First, in your mindset – when something like this happens, realize you might have to take a step back from your writing. This doesn’t mean you’re quitting, it just means there are some other things you have to deal with first.
Second, don’t lock yourself into a tight deadline. In other words, plan more than enough time to complete your projects. For instance, if you know a certain project typically takes you three weeks to complete, give yourself four. This way if something happens to knock off your regular writing time, you have a little time to take off.
5. Take time for yourself. Sometimes you might need to take some time to recharge yourself. I know some people hold to the “write every day” principle, but I find that after a grueling project it helps to take a little time off. This gives you time to reflect on what you want to do next, helps you prepare for the next project (i.e. brainstorming), and lets you focus on self care which allows you to be at your best for the next project. Journaling is a good way to still get some writing in during this time.
These techniques help keep me on track, and I hope you’ll find them helpful too. Also, keep in mind that everyone has bad days, and everyone fails at times. The important thing is to keep at it.
This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop. It’s hosted by Raimey Gallant. For more details and to join in the fun, go here.
How about you? What techniques do you find most helpful in making time for your writing? Let me know in the comments!