Are You Dedicating Time to Your Writing?

The lives we lead are extraordinarily busy. Beyond our jobs, not many of us feel we have time for more than one, maybe two, other pursuits. With priorities like study, children, family, and health all competing for our attention, sitting down to write about space pirates can feel a little frivolous. In reality, it's anything but! For those of us called to writing, making time for writing is synonymous with making time for yourself. Here's why—and how.

Hourglass with vines - Making Time For Writing

Change Your Thinking

Here's the thing: if you've found your way to this post, then writing is clearly something you care about. Regardless of whatever else you've got going on, making time for writing is something you want to do.

Far too often in life, we get so caught up in what we need to do that what we want falls entirely by the wayside. In extreme cases, this is unavoidable ... but such cases are much more the exception than the rule.

So many of us feel so tired and overwhelmed by our circumstances that doing anything other than what's required feels impossible. By the time we've slogged our way through to something resembling downtime, all we want is to sink into distraction. But in doing so, we fool ourselves into thinking we don't have time or energy for things that rejuvenate us.

Sometimes, writing about space pirates is about more than writing about space pirates. It's about expressing yourself, being creative, and engaging in something that brings you joy and satisfaction. When you think about it like that, writing starts to feel a whole lot less frivolous!

Set Time Aside

Some things are sacred—your morning coffee, the time after the kids go to bed, your pre-bed shower ... and for many writers, their hour or two a day is equally as non-negotiable.

Of course, setting time aside means recognising you have time to set aside. You might feel 'too tired' at the end of any given day, and sometimes that's okay. But if you're in the process of trying to form a new habit, be wary of this feeling! It could well be trying to sabotage you by encouraging you to trade hard but rewarding for easy but unsatisfying.

Making writing a regular practice is some of the first advice that any aspiring author receives, and for good reason. As long as you sit in front of the keyboard as often as you can, it will get done. Don't get lost in how much you get down on the page, or how long it takes you to do it—just do it!

Repurpose Your Screen Time

Managing screen time isn't just for kids!

No matter how action-packed our days are, estimating that we spend at least two hours of them staring idly at our phones or televisions would be conservative. It goes without saying, but this time would be much better spent doing just about anything else, and is prime real estate for a writing session.

We like to joke about and downplay the amount of time we spend going down rabbit holes on the internet, but it's a serious issue. With an entire universe of distraction right in your pocket, the quiet moments in which we reflect and evaluate what's important to us end up all but replaced by scary headlines, "influencers", and cat pictures.

It might be easier to zone out and forget about our problems for a while, but it's not going to bring us any closer to solving them—or our novels any closer to completion. Pen beats stylus every day of the week!

Remember That No-One Is Forcing You To Write

As hard as it can be to believe when you're really struggling with your writing, it is something you've decided to do for yourself. No matter how many times you look behind you, you won't find anyone holding a sharp, pointy stick at your back. It's something you want to do because you want to do it.

Making time for writing and the journey to a completed manuscript won't be easy ... but if you're going to be tired anyway, you might as well have a space pirate opera to show for it!

Having some trouble remembering why you started? See our previous post on reasons to write. If you're looking for a more personalised solution to your writerly woes, check out our book coaching and writing programs. Alternatively, submit an enquiry below and let us see how we can help.

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Acknowledgements

Photo Credit Ron Lach, Unsplash

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