Welcome to week two of Writerly Witterings.
Thank you to everyone who offered me feedback on last week’s blog post, ‘Space to Write.’ This new blog series will be updated every Monday, and will focus on a different aspect of writing each week. I’m doing this in conjunction with the writing of my third novel, for which I’m following my own course, ‘Write a Novel in Six Months.’
I would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who watched my Facebook Live video on Saturday when I talked about Space to Write. It is the first time I have done Facebook Live so I was a little nervous!
However, the response was great and several people posted comments and experiences into the comments whilst I was ‘live.’ I will reiterate what I said last week about being proud to be a writer within such a great community. I love how we all support each other.
Writerly Witterings aims to provide value to all writers at every stage, whatever their writing project. This week’s focus is on making time to write, and will be followed up again this Saturday with a linked Facebook Live. Click here to connect with me on Facebook.
Time to Write
Time. Quite possibly the biggest enemy of most writers. I hear it time and time again from students doing my writing courses, ‘I’m struggling to find the time to write.’
Yes, life completely gets in the way, family, work, home life, social life. However there’s no denying that the difference between a successful writer and someone with a writing dream is the hours we commit to our craft.
- Get up earlier each morning when the world is quiet (this is what I do.) This is great for writers who are more creative in the morning. It’s tricky at first but you soon get used to it and it means you haven’t got your writing targets ‘hanging over you’ for the rest of the day.
- For the night owls out there, perhaps you could swap an hour of evening TV and spend it on your writing instead. You’ll be thankful for this choice once your word count starts to grow.
- Liaise with another writer. You could make a regular arrangement to meet and write, hence holding each other accountable, or you could set each other ‘free.’ For example, taking it in turns to collect each other’s children from school gives one another some writing time.
- Devote your commute time or lunch break to your writing. The beauty about being a writer is that a notebook or laptop is so portable. Yes, it’s a sacrifice, as with the aforementioned suggestions but so worth it in the long run.
Try this exercise:
- Decide on the time you usually get up and go to bed each day.
- Draw a table or design one in Word to reflect this. The half hourly increments should be listed vertically and the days of the week along the top. (see below)
- Block out all the times that are not available to you. Shade them in with a black pen. This could be because you are working, sleeping, at the gym, taking your kids swimming, etc.
- You will be left with some white spaces. Choose which ones you prefer. Draw a circle around them and set them up with an alarm in your phone.
Whatever you choose from the suggestions above, ‘ring fence’ it. Treat this time with the same importance as you would any other appointment. Enlist support from family and friends and hopefully they will soon get used to the new routines you set for yourself.
It possibly won’t be easy at first but it will soon become your new norm. With just 30-45 minutes a day, you could write 500 words. That’s 3500 words in a week, or 14,000 in a month. That’s very quickly going to become a full length novel or series of short stories.
Once you have decided on the time you’re going to write, it can sometimes feel hard to stick with it but I can assure you that once you get writing, you will find it very hard to stop. It will soon become your way of life; apparently it takes just 21 days for a new habit to become ingrained.
Remember no one can write it for you – you are the only person who can bring your fabulous idea to completion!
Choose one of the above suggestions and put it into practice straightaway. Let me know how you get on. You can post into the comments here or join me on Facebook on Saturday. I’d love to hear what works for you.
Before I close for this week, I’d like to mention a free event I’m leading next Saturday 26th January at Harrogate Library. Give yourselves two hours of writing time by joining me at ‘Writing as Therapy.’ There are just a few places left and you can request yours by clicking here.
© Maria Stephenson 14.1.19