02 Mar How To Make Time To Write
I’m a book editor and author coach but I’m also an author so I have experience on both sides and time is the resource we never seem to have enough of when it comes to writing.
However, there are ways you can carve out time to write without losing sleep. I recently took on a client who wanted to write and publish a book this year even though he is running a business, moving house and has another child on the way soon! My two goals were to help get the book finished and not upset his partner by adding to an already hectic schedule. Below are some tips on making time to write.
You’ll be surprised how many windows of time you already have in your current schedule. Monitor what you do with your time for a couple of weeks. You could use an app for this, some even digital monitor how much time you spend on your phone and using specific apps. Or you could keep a simple spreadsheet with hour blocks and quickly jot in what you did each hour. Once you know which hours are being used effectively and which ones are being wasted you can adjust (of course, sometimes we need to waste time and relax – self-care is important!)
If you can’t seem to make time to sit at your writing desk often enough for longer sessions then try to use any five, ten, fifteen minutes you have. Some authors, I’ve spoken to seem to think they need to set aside hours of time or a full day each week or take an entire writing holiday to write their book. You could try getting up 15minutes earlier and use that time. Or if you get an hour lunch break, go for a walk and dictate into your phone. Perhaps, you could use your train commute to tap out some ideas and expand on them later. Or if you drive to work, record yourself – we tend to speak much faster than we can type so you can get a lot down in a short space of time.
For networking, learning, and promoting your writing, I’d recommend being smart and productive by just choosing two to three social media channels you actually enjoy using rather than setting up everywhere and then abandoning them because you don’t have time to manage them all! Set aside time in your calendar that you commit to for ‘being visible’ and building your following. This also helps cut down wasted time scrolling through your feed multiple times a day.
Create content on apps like Canva, WordSwag, etc and save them – you can do a month worth of content in a matter of hours and then pre-schedule it. You can also do this with your blog. I have a blog bank with enough for the entire year. This also means I never sit in front of a blank page under pressure.
Key thing is putting deadlines dates in your calendar for finishing writing, editing, beta readers, proofreading, and publishing. Break it down into smaller actions so it never feels like a huge, unachievable goal.