Saturday, 11 August 2018

Finding the Time to Write

Life is busy. Crazily so. And us writers tend to want to find time to write, but never manage to because time is just so hard to find. If you attend school, your teachers are giving you tons of work, your friends are giving you tons of drama, and location is giving you tons of travelling. If you're an adult and are out of school, then you've got work, friends, family, and scary adult stuff that's drinking up your time like that thirsty writing dragon that comes along and slurps your chai when you're not looking.

So how can you find enough time to write?

It's definitely something that I've been struggling with over the past year. Teachers are loading me up with school work, friends are throwing drama at me, and life in general seems to have very little concept of the fact that it takes time to write words. Don't get me wrong, I love school, friends, family and life in general, it just does make it quite challenging to manage to write among all of that. So I figured I'd give you a few ideas and tips that have been helping me out lately.

1. You can write small amounts.

This is one of the things that took me a while to work out. I'm used to being able to sit down and churn out over 1000 words in a day, but when you need to churn out two essays in a day as well, it just can't happen.

As it is, I find that it is helpful to remember that even if you just write a few hundred words in ten or so minutes, that is still writing, and it is still getting you somewhere. If you have a teacher who is late for class, you can just write a few more lines and enjoy that bit of freedom to write.

Sure, it doesn't produce much when you do this, but it helps you feel more like you're getting a chance to write.

2. Make the things stopping you from writing, start you writing.

I managed to put my novel that I wrote in July under the banner of my Extension English project that was taking up tons of precious time. I've also written two short stories for other English things, given my friend a novel for her birthday, given another friend a collection of poetry, worked out the statistical variety in newspaper articles for Maths, interviewed Jackie French (an Aussie author) for Geography, and gotten to research about the Phoenicians for Ancient History who may well end up scoring a story from me later on... *taps chin thoughtfully*

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to do any creative writing or writing related things in Biology. So note to treat this one with caution. :P

3. Write on the way.

I spend approximately three hours a day on a bus. Those three hours are pretty darn boring unless I'm writing. Mostly, laptops are able to work offline on word, scrivener, or even docs, and that means that you can use this boring bus trip, or train trip, to write. Yes, screaming kids can be a pain, but if you put earphones in and block out everything but you and your characters, you'll manage! (Hopefully)

WARNING: Do not tune out so much that you can't get out if there is an emergency. Also don't do this if you're the one driving. *nods wisely*

4. Get the other things done ASAP.

I'm horrible at following this one, but I'll say it any way.

If you've been given an assignment that isn't due for another three weeks, don't leave it until the last minute. Get it done early. Otherwise, you'll spend the entire last week stressing over it, and won't actually get it done until the night before, but will have spent the entire week leading up to it procrastinating furiously, all the while being freaked out cos there is no way you can finish this thing on time.

Basically, if you finish it early, then you can say bye-bye to stress, and sit down and write when you would have been freaking out over a project.

5. If none of these are working, wake up half an hour earlier.

Unless you are so frantically busy that you aren't even getting enough sleep, waking up a bit earlier to get some writing in at the start of the day is a good option. I have a tendency to wake up a bit earlier some mornings if I really want to get some writing done, and it actually doesn't work too badly. Don't wake up an extra two hours before you normally would, but a little bit doesn't hurt.

I hope that helps you guys out for being able to write!

Have you got any ideas on how to make time to write? Ever used any of these ones?


  1. I don't really have this problem too often, thankfully, but it's definitely hard to balance things sometimes.

    Getting up early is also WAY better than going to bed later.

    1. Yay that's good!

      Indeed it is. Indeed it is.

  2. "...Also don't do this if you're the one driving." Very good advice... thankfully not too late. ;)

  3. Ooh, great tips!!! I've been struggling a little with this too. Glad to know I'm not alone. XP :-)

    1. Yay! Glad to help! And noooo, you are not alone. I'd say a fairly decent portion of us struggle with it on some level.