5 Ways to Find Time to Write

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Writing
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I know, another list giving you advice on how to do something in your life. How many of these do we need anyway? I say as many as we can get. One of the nice things about advice is that you can choose to ignore it. One nice thing about information is that the more that you have the better able you are to analyze what is useful for you and what is not.

So, my writing tip today will be a list devoted to finding time to write. Let’s face it, we all are very busy in our lives. Most of us have a regular job that we have to go to. Many of us have children and spouses. Don’t even get me started about what the social calendar looks like (Does anyone else have a party they have to play in a band at on the 31st?). It can seem, often, that we don’t have any time to actually write. Well, here is my Top 5 Ways to Find Time to Write that you didn’t know existed.

1. Carry paper and pen with you everywhere you go. There are a lot of times where you can find yourself with nothing to do for 5-10 minutes. Sitting in the bank, waiting at the doctor’s office, stopped at a red light (actually, you shouldn’t do this if you are driving). These are moments where you can actually get the creative juices flowing. Flush out that character, write a bit of dialogue down, sketch out the next scene. If you have paper with you there is nothing to stop you.

2. Lunch time is not just for eating. During the school year I often do several things during my lunch, occasionally it includes eating. Students require help, grades need to be submitted, and lessons need planning. However, when possible, I use it to write. I even have this handy dandy netbook to carry with me so that I can log in in under a minute and crank out some writing. You’d be surprised what you can generate in 15 minutes. Again, use the time that is there.

3. Sometimes the kids just want you to be there. I have noticed that my kids often just want me to sit next to them but not do what they are doing. In fact my daughter will often say “me do it” and stop me from interacting. In these moments I will once again take out the trusty netbook and type away. Dora the Explorer has accounted for much of my writing time. I feel like Swiper stealing time.

4. Request the time you need. Oftentimes we may feel guilty about taking time away from the family, but hear me out. If your family is loving, then they are supportive. If they are supportive, then they will understand if you ask for a set block of time to write uninterrupted. All you need to do is ask. For a while my wife would take the kids to do the grocery shopping while I went to Barnes and Nobles to write. It was a good set up. We are trying to figure out a similar setup now that we are in a new house (No B&N near the store), but that hasn’t quite happened yet.

5. Relax and write. Okay, this last one may seem like a copout. Maybe it was just a way to make this list look right. After all a Top Four list doesn’t look right (As human beings, we like things to be in multiples of 5 and 10 the most). Hear me out on this one. If you are able to get any writing time at all, then you are winning the battle. Your story is getting written. Don’t let those moments where you fall short get you down. If you do you may give up and say “this will never get finished”. Of course it won’t get finished if you quit. Take the time you have and use it.

There are probably other ideas I haven’t listed. In fact, I guarantee you there are. You are intelligent enough to read this blog 🙂 therefore I know you will be able to get the work done that you desire. Happy writing to you, and I look forward to the fruits of your labor.

That concludes my daily writing tip for you.

Comments
  1. Marcia says:

    Great tips, Jason. You certainly do have a busy life, but it looks like you have been creative about discovering moments to write…good for you!

    • jmcmurray says:

      Thanks, Marcia. Yeah, my life is crazy, but I wouldn’t give it up. It is all fuel for the fire. Tomorrow I get to do band practice, clean the deck, eat lunch with Helene, go to Tae Kwon Do practice for myself, and the write. I am going to be crazy and see if I can get 1500 words tomorrow. Just to see if I can.

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