Finding time to write

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Professional writers write every day. It’s what we do. But if you’re a business person who wants to write (or work with a ghostwriter on) a book or if you want to write blog posts, you have to find time to write. You’re have to change some things, make some choices, and exercise some discipline

Forget “finding” time to write

You won’t “find” time to write, so you can forget that idea. You have to identify some time in your day and designate as “Sacred Writing Time.” There are two ways to do that.

Add some writing time to your day

The most common ways that non-writers or writers with a day job make time to write are to get up early and write or stay up late and write. If you’re going to do that, pick the time that’s when you’re at your best. If you’re a lark, pick the morning. If you’re a night owl, stay up late.

Replace something you do now with writing time

If you can’t add work time to your day, you have to write during a time when you’re now doing something else. One of my clients writes during his lunch break. Another convinced her spouse to walk the dog in the early evening, so she could write.

Regularity builds the writing habit

You don’t have to set aside time every day to write, but you should write regularly. Clients have chosen to write every other day, to write on the weekends, and to write on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Carve out time that works for you, but keep your commitment to yourself and the project.

Build your willpower muscle

Heidi Grant Halvorson writes in “Nine Things Successful People Do Differently” about “success strategies” that anyone can use. They’ll work for writing a book or any other project you choose to tackle. I think the most useful strategy is “Build your willpower muscle.”

Writing a book or writing regular blog posts will require you to change your habits. But you won’t “find” time to do it. You have to make some choices and exercise some discipline.

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What People Are Saying

Claudia Gere   |   14 Dec 2011   |   Reply

Sometimes it IS about finding the time you already have and being prepared to write. I found time when I was waiting for my son at practice during baseball season. A surgeon I know found himself often waiting before and after surgery. A client found time waiting in airports. How much time do you spend waiting each week? If you’re prepared for writing while you’re waiting, you might find you already have time to write in your day.

Wally   |   14 Dec 2011   |   Reply

That’s a good point, Claudia. If you’re ready, you can stick short blocks of writing into cracks in the schedule. Thanks for adding to the conversation.