Monday, January 30, 2012

When do you find time to write?

The question is one I get from my friends, my fans, and fellow writers: When do you find time to write?

Sometimes, finding time is challenging. And goofing off and not writing can be tempting. It's certainly easier than dedicating yourself to a couple hours of quality time with a blank sheet of Word paper. And at the end of the day, sometimes I'm so exhausted it's easy not to feel like writing.

But in life, whether it's writing or reading, prepping healthy meals or spending meaningful time with your spouse and children, reading the Bible or exercising, we need to remember to make time for what's most important.

If we don't consciously carve out time, often what's most important but not most demanding gets forgotten in the busy errands that fill daily life.

So how do we carve out time? I recommend setting aside a designated time or times during the day where you're doing just that one thing (writing, or whatever it is to you that is most important). If it's writing, I also recommend using the same time during each day to write... always first thing in the morning, always from 8-10 p.m., or whatever it is (and the more time the better, of course). Your body/brain/creativity will get accustomed to this routine. Like a muscle that needs to be trained, sitting down and doing nothing but writing might hurt at first, and sticking to that workout schedule/routine might be difficult at first... but it gets easier and you get stronger as you go along.

I'm a mega-A-type personality and a bit of a nerd. Okay, big-time nerd. I have a schedule that I check off every day. (For some reason, I enjoy checking off boxes on lists.) But this keeps me on track, and at the end of the week I can look back and see my progress. Did I exercise like I said I would? Complete my scripture reading goals? Write every day like I said I would? Sweep the kitchen floor daily? Limit internet time? You get the picture.

And about that internet time... What are you doing reading this when you could be writing? Just kidding, kind of. One of life's huge time-zappers for me is the internet. Keeping up with email, Facebook, Twitter, blogging and reading other blogs, online Sudoku, newspapers... you get the idea. I've begun to consciously limit the time I spend on the internet. I go online, knowing I have a half hour to do everything I need to do, which keeps me focused and energized. And at the end of that 30 minutes, the internet goes off, regardless of what else needs to be done... sometimes. Well, that's the goal I'm working toward! And it's not going to happen every day, but it's something I'm working toward most days. Just shutting off the connection is going to reap time for me to do one of the many things in life I find most important to me.

If I stick to my schedule, I can squeeze all of those important things in! Most of the time...

What's most important to you? How do you carve out time for doing it?


  1. Dear Fellow writer, or should I say, sister writer? Thanks for giving me the excuse for not reading an unlimited number of blogs: spending too much time on the internet and not enough time writing. You are as usual, brilliant. You, as most writers(fellow or sister varieties) will attest to always being strapped for time. Thank you for sharing the dilemma of being a modern day writer. Can't wait to see the new book!

  2. Thanks, Carolyn. You're amazing and wonderful, even if you are full of air! Just kidding... the comment is because I just read your latest Sixty Chix blog post about being (ahem) full of air! I'm glad you're okay! And I'm glad you give me another excuse for not writing (because I'm reading your blog posts). I'd lost the link somehow and kept looking for Sixty Chicks! "Peep-peep!" What was I thinking?! Hope to see you soon!