Organising Yourself So That You Have More Time To Write
One of the biggest barriers to people becoming writers is finding the time to actually write! I know it seems strange that anyone wanting to be a writer would find it difficult to fit writing into their life, but it’s true. So, here are some hints and tips to help you get organised. You’ll soon feel that writing is a natural part of your day, not something that you do as an afterthought when you’ve got a spare five minutes!
Write Every Day
Okay, it doesn’t have to be every day, but that’s what you should aim for. Even if you only manage 30 minutes each day, it gets you into a habit. And those 30 minutes don’t even have to be all at the same time. You can do ten minutes here, another ten minutes there and so on.
Set Yourself Targets
This is always a great way to motivate yourself, but do err on the cautious side. Don’t set yourself a target of 2000 words if there’s no chance you’ll get it done. Rather set yourself a target of 500 words, and if you manage 750-1000, that’s great. And it’ll give you a little boost as you’ll have achieved more than you set out to do.
If you have a busy life, it’s helpful to plan your time so you fit writing into your day. Not only does it help you identify when you are going to write, you should also use it to decide what you are going to write. This is especially helpful if you have more than one writing project on the go at once. If you do this, when you sit down to write, you’ll not waste time thinking about what you are going to do, which could use up the whole of the ten minutes you allocated if you’re not careful.
No, not your brain – the TV! This is one of the biggest time thieves, along with Facebook, email, browsing the internet and mobile phones. So, if you find that you get drawn into watching something when you really should be writing – turn it off. Of course, some people work better with a little music on in the background, and it can actually help with your creativity – that’s fine.
Get up Early
Sounds simple, and it is! Just set your alarm for half an hour earlier and use that time to write. Of course that’ll only work if you actually have the inclination to write in the mornings, some people don’t. If this is you, why not try shifting something that you normally do in the evenings to the morning and then write in the evening slot you’ve created?
Involve the Family
A common problem for people who work from home is that others in the family don’t appreciate that you are working. Make sure your family know when you are writing and that they must not disturb you unless it is an emergency. If you have children, and depending on their age, you can ask them to do some chores that you would normally do for them. This should free up another few minutes for you to dedicate to writing – every little helps!
Use ‘Dead’ Time
There are usually lots of minutes wasted in the day; for example, when you are travelling on the bus, sitting at the school gates, or in coffee and lunch breaks. Make sure you always have a notebook handy so you can jot down your thoughts in these ‘spare’ moments.
If you have the time and the money, writing retreats are a great way to focus your mind on the task. You’ll have nothing but writing to think about and should get plenty done. If you can’t afford a retreat, you could sign up to a writing course where you’ll be surrounded by others writer, or simply grab your notebook and take yourself off to the local library or coffee shop.
And at the end of the day, it’s up to you. If you really want to write, you’ll find the time!