How do you make time for writing?

This is something I’ve been struggling with lately. My days have been filled with meetings and phone calls, my evenings with emails, and my competing priorities – all important, all very loved and in some cases personal projects – have been keeping me busy. In the middle of all of it, I’m finding it hard to carve out real, significant time to write.

Case in point: I’m writing this on a Sunday night and scheduling it for Monday morning, when I’ll be on the road for several hours.

What to do?

I’ve played with schedules, with different ways of making and looking at to-do lists. I’ve tried mornings and evenings. I’m sort of at a loss, and while I AM getting my writing done, I’d just really like to get my arms around it better.

So, readers and writers, I’m curious. How do you make time to write? How do you balance life’s busy-ness and actually get words on the page? I’d love to hear your techniques, your ideas, your advice…

I’m not pleading for help or anything, but, you know, never hurts to have good tools in the toolbox. 😊

23 thoughts on “How do you make time for writing?

  1. I always had designated “write days” or “write schedules”–mostly mornings as that is my most productive. The balance for me came in recognizing that there will be other things that sometimes require one to adjust, but it should be due to something essential in order to interrupt. For example, I never read emails or took phone calls when I was in the classroom, thus, I realized I should not read emails or take phone calls during my designated writing times.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I get distracted by phone calls and emails all the time. I think I need to actually turn off my wifi when I’m writing. I’m in the process right now of choosing the “right” time to write. I’m always most productive in the mornings, as well, and so I’m working on becoming more of a morning person. It’s…a challenge. But I’m sticking with it!

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  2. Writing for me is a hobby at the moment. I fit in writing using a phone app to jot down ideas or to get some lines in when on a particularly dull meeting. It doesn’t really answer your question, but my answer is a write when I can.

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  3. Maybe you can try to find a time slot when there is least work scheduled.. for example, since the last few days, I’m doing my writing work in the afternoon… since I study in the morning and attend classes in the evening.. and I feel too sleepy to study at noon 😜 so it’s better to write
    Also.. perhaps you can squeeze out 15 or 20 minutes a few times in the day when you feel like you need a break.. I realised writing really refreshes me

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    • Great advice! I actually joined a coffee club not too long ago, since coffee has become a major part of my writing routine. Love the idea of just letting it flow, as well! I try to do that, but it’s frustratingly easy to get stuck in the details. But I aspire to do better on that front. 🙂

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  4. I’m a big believer that some seasons are for writing and others are not. I go through spurts, although I do write in my journal daily, but for many, that wouldn’t count as ‘real writing’… that’s just writing for me.

    Perhaps when life slows down again, you’ll get back into it. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves and everyone’s unique, too, in their schedules. Or maybe you can try recording your ideas on your phone. I think if you really want to do it, eventually you’ll make the time – don’t some writers book a hotel room for the weekend and don’t come out until they’ve written their book? 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • They do! Toni Morrison has talked about that – how she’d write in hotel rooms to cut down on distractions. To that end, I think a change of scenery every once in a while can be helpful, too. And I love the idea of journaling! I try to write in mine every day, as well, if only just a few sentences.

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  5. Hi Katie! What I find works is a 5 minute free write in the morning, using any prompt handy. (I’ve been following the NaPoWriMo prompts which actually aren’t always easy to follow but some of them have been juicy).

    You have to actually time yourself and stop writing once the 5 mins is up. Even if you’re day is jam-packed, you can usually steal 5 mins somewhere. It’s surprising what spills out! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Listen, Step Back, and Trust Your Gut (or: How I Wrote My Latest Story) | A Virginia Writer's Diary

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