Tuesday, September 30, 2008

5 Tips for Finding Time to Write

When you're working from home it's easy to let the laundry, lunch dates and the Lifetime channel cut into your time. If you're intent on writing a salable novel it's even tempting to scrub shower grout. It's not that you don't want to write it. It's just that you're scared. Scared that you'll either fail miserably or have an off the chart success on your hands. Get over it! It's time to bite the bullet and write your novel, short story, family Christmas letter or whatever you're working on.

If you want to find time to write try these tips.

  • Before you can find time to write you need to get real with yourself about how you're spending your time now. And it doesn't even require a stint on the Dr. Phil show. There's a great tracker at mindtools.com. Yeah, it's a pain but if you'll fill it out for a few days, I guarantee you'll find time you didn't know you had.

  • A friend of mine has great success with an egg timer. When she begins a task, whether it's writing or house cleaning it helps to have a deadline. If you know you only have to devote ten minutes to folding laundry it'll fly by.

  • Make a weekly menu. HUH?! You heard me. How much time is wasted at your house deciding what you'll have for dinner, making extra trips to the store during the week for forgotten items or going out to eat. You'll not only save hours every week, you'll save a lot of money too.

  • Set goals. Okay you've heard this one before. Me too. But, you can't just say, "I'm going to write a novel next year." Create a timeline. When will you have it plotted, how many pages a day will you write, how long will you give yourself for rewrites? Hold yourself accountable.

  • If you can't write at home go to the coffee shop, library or park. I wrote one of my best pieces in the waiting room of a tire shop. If you suspect you'll be waiting somewhere for awhile take along your laptop or a good old yellow pad and a #2 pencil. Or you could spend your time looking at outdated issues of Field & Stream.

If you've got any timesaving tips for writers let us know about them. We need all the help we can get!!

1 comment:

Lela said...

Good tips. I'm finally trying to work with an 'editorial calendar'. I do so much better when someone tells me what to do - so now I'm telling myself. The plan (written) is helping me avoid wasting time trying to decide what to write about.