Finding Time to Write – The Ultimate Secret

Video transcript with bonus content

 

 

 

Lots of new writers want to know that secret of finding time to write. Based on my decades of experience as a writing mentor, it is the number one complaint of new writers. And it’s the number one excuse for not completing a manuscript. When you master your time, you are on the road to writing success.

Find Time To Write Fiction or Nonfiction

If it’s fiction, you see all the parts of it in your mind—the princess, the castle and the dashing studly young man on the white steed.

But the point is, the plot runs through your mind like a movie. You play each part, go through motions, speak the words. It’s all in your head and all very real to you. All you have to do is write it down.

The same thing with nonfiction —it could be “how-to” “self-help,”’ history, biography or science.

You know what’s in your head. Every step, every bit of advice, every little know fact, each quirk of personality, every parcec of each quark—depending on what nonfiction topic you’re writing about, of course.

It’s all in your head and all very real to you. All you have to do is write it down. What could be so hard about that?

Getting the Book Out of your Head

We all have books in our heads, but most never get written because people do not find the time to write them.  And, as we all know, an unwritten book is no book at all.

Posers talk about writing and endlessly think about writing. Writers actually write. Huge difference between the two.

So, this all means that you need to find time to write. You need to sit down and turn all those visions in your head into a tangible form.

So, how do you find time to do that?

Well, here’s the ultimate secret I advertised.

You’ll never find the time. You must MAKE the time.

Face reality—if you could have FOUND the time to write, you would have done it by now.

But you haven’t done that. Most if not all of your book is still in your head, not on your computer screen or paper.

You are a busy person:

  • family
  • friends
  • work
  • even the need to relax

So many responsibilities, so many obligations, so many people and things to occupy your time.

With that kind of schedule, you’ll never FIND time to write the book in your head. You only frustrate yourself if you try to wedge writing time into a life as hectic as yours. You don’t realize it at first, but you have built an automatic guilt machine. You feel guilty about not writing when you are doing other duties, and you feel guilty about writing other obligations await you.

Realize that time is finite, and the perfect conditions for writing will probably never occur. We must use the time we have.

  • We all have 1,440 minutes each day. You’re not going to manufacture time to write.
  • The best you can do is ALLOCATE time you already have.

You MAKE time to write by assigning it a higher priority in your life.

finding time to writeSet Your Writing Time Priorities

Start asking yourself this important question:

“Is writing more important to me than…”

Feeding your child. No. Feeding your child is obviously one of the most important things you do.

“Is writing more important to me than…”

Getting sleep. Hmmm. You could allocate some of your sleep time and use that for writing. Get up an hour early and write.

“Is writing more important to me than…”

Watching your favorite TV program or movie? No question there You may THINK you need the relaxation, but those programs and movies are replayed all the time. Write now and binge-watch after you have completed your writing project. Re-allocate that time. Every hour of TV has about 15 minutes of commercials anyway and your writing project is far more important than that.

By the way, many people think writing is relaxing, so write for an hour and a half each evening instead of watching a TV program or two.

The main point here is that you are not trying to squeeze in fifteen minutes of writing here and there. You are taking control of your life. You are asserting yourself. You become a genuine writer when you do that and are no longer a poser.

We all must adjust our thinking and break out of familiar ruts. Challenge your comfort zone. Life is the process of making compromises to achieve goals. Some are conscious compromises, some are unconscious. It is important to make conscious decisions to have a fulling life.

Prioritize the events of your life. Keep asking yourself, “Writing more important to me than…” and reduce the priority of all those things that are less important.

Tools to Help You Keep on Track

Once you have resolved in your mind to give writing time the place it deserves, there are some tools that can help you keep that resolution. There are some that keep you from being tempted by distractions. The first and best of those is a door on the room where you are writing that has a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside.

If you intended to maintain your writing priorities, it is best to leave your phone on the other side of the door.  Don’t rationalize that you need it at your side for emergencies. You know that they are few and time-wasting distractions are many. If a real emergency occurs, you’ll know it through the door by using proper settings.

You can maintain your priorities by avoiding another of the worst modern distractions there is, and that’s the Internet. There are browser plugins that will block the sites that tempt you the most.

Another thing you can do to make the most of your time is having a writing rhythm. Nothing helps you get into the groove and make the most of your time than the Pomodoro Method.

This is the Ultimate Secret

Don’t FIND time to write. The ultimate secret is to MAKE time to write.

JK Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter series, is no different than you or me or any other writer. She had a job, kids, and responsibilities.

But she MADE time to write.

She said, in part, “Be ruthless about protecting writing time. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books. They apparently believe they pop up like mushrooms.”

Well, books don’t grow like mushrooms. Writing takes effort. It’s not about dreaming but about the doing.

That’s the ultimate secret. You don’t FIND time. You prioritize the time you have. If writing is important to you, you’ll MAKE time to do it.

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